While trials and pre-season prognostications are difficult to go by, the Holden Cup Sharks face a difficult assignment first up when they tackle a traditionally tough Brisbane Broncos outfit in a round one match at Southern Cross Group Stadium.

After a long summer on the training paddock and a series of trial matches, Coach John Morris has the young Sharks primed and ready to start their 2017 season on a positive note.

“The boys have come together really well,” Morris said. “We’ve had four trial games and managed to get three out of four wins, which is good but you don’t look at the results, you look at effort and building combinations and putting into play what you’ve practiced at training.

“They’ve got better and better with each trial and we’re ready for the season. The boys just can’t wait to rip in.”

For the Brisbane match the Sharks head into the contest at close to full strength, with only fullback Will Kennedy missing following a training mishap earlier in the week.

In his place comes the versatile Bessie Aufunga-Toomaga, while Jesse Ramien, a try scorer in the Sharks World Club Challenge loss to Wigan, returning to the Holden Cup in a boost to the Sharks chances.

Morris also anointed Jack Williams team captain at the final training session tonight, with the experienced five eighth set to be an inspirational leader for the Sharks side.

“Jack is our captain this year and he has been super impressive. He steers the team around and I’m looking forward to him having a big year,” Morris said.

After finishing in fourth position at the end of the 2016 season the Under-20 Sharks bowed out after consecutive defeats, the first of those losses coming against eventual premiers the Roosters, the second against the minor premier Panthers side.

However, with a squad featuring 10 players with previous NYC experience and after the impressive trial form, Morris and his team hope to build on last year’s effort.

For a full game preview interview with Morris, go to the Sharks TV link.

The Sharks v Broncos NYC clash is scheduled for a 5.45pm kick off at Southern Cross Group Stadium tomorrow. 

Sharks 20-man NYC squad list 

NYC Round 1
Sharks v Broncos
Thursday, March 2
Southern Cross Group Stadium
Kick-off 5.45pm

1.       Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga
2.       Sione Katoa
3.       Jesse Ramien
4.       Clayton Uia
5.       Josh Tuilagi
6.       Jack Williams
7.       Kyle Flanagan
8.       Daniel Vasquez
9.       Blayke Brailey
10.   Brock Ilett
11.   Briton Nikora
12.   Ryan King
13.   Billy Magoulias
Interchange
14.   Zac Faulkner
15.   Eddie Faalua
16.   Jesse Savage
17.   Joshua Carr
18.   Tony Matautia
19.   Luke Jurd
20.   Johnathan Tufuga