Wade Graham and Shaun Johnson have shown in the international arena that they are more than capable on the Nines stage, having starred for Australia and New Zealand respectively last year, but the Sharks might have a few surprises for the opposition when they take to the field in Perth next weekend.
Rather than the experienced campaigners carrying all the responsibility, it could be a collection of young stars who are set to shine and to give the Sharks every chance of success.
While the squad is yet to be announced, with the official unveiling early next week, the likes of Ronaldo Mulitalo, Connor Tracey and Teig Wilton are just three of the youngsters hoping to get their opportunity when the Sharks NRL Nines campaign kicks off on Friday.
Mulitalo got his opportunity in the top grade in 2019 and made an immediate impression, his finishing ability, coupled with aggression and passion, making him an instant fan favourite. Having trained the house down during the pre-season, should his name be read out in the final 18-man squad list, expect Mulitalo to have a significant impact on the Sharks performances.
Similar for Tracey, who during the summer set a new record for one of the Club’s endurance training tests, with the returning local junior certain to be keen to catch the eye of coach John Morris and to push his claims ahead of the kick-off to the 2020 season.
A noted ball runner with exceptional speed and power, Tracey appears to be the perfect fit for the Nines format.
As for Wilton, still just 20 and moving up into the top squad after playing a leading role in the premiership-winning run of the Newtown Jets last year, the south-coast raised youngster has all the attributes to also make a major contribution in Perth if chosen for the tournament.
Wilton has a big motor, a necessity in the Nines, is a dependable defender and having played backrow, lock and centre for the Jets last year his versatility will certainly be an asset.
The Sharks Nines campaign includes pool matches against the Dragons and Bulldogs, with the leading two teams from each pool advancing to the quarter finals.
The Sharks will officially announce their Nines squad next week.