With the comeback of former international and Origin star Jharal Yow Yeh, the cruel injury to five-eighth prospect Jordan Kahu and the general hype surrounding new recruit Ben Barba, the news machine at Red Hill has been working flat out.
This afternoon, the Brisbane Broncos announced their side to contest the first NRL Auckland Nines tournament this weekend in New Zealand.
Led by newly announced co-captain Corey Parker, the Broncos’ Nines side includes several players who have barely gotten back into pre-season training following their post-World Cup breaks. Kangaroos Sam Thaiday and Corey Parker are in along with Kiwi men Alex Glenn and Josh Hoffman.
Off-season signing Todd Lowrie told Broncos.com.au his new club had fielded a “really strong side”.
“It would be the strongest side we could field, so it’s good to have everyone available. We should give it a really good crack, I reckon,” the loose forward said.
Auckland’s premier sports stadium, Eden Park, has sold out completely for the two-day event. The winning club of the tournament stands to pocket AU$2.6 million in prize money
The knockout/round robin-style tournament will see the top two sides from each pool advance to the quarter finals. The Broncos have been drawn in the ‘Green’ pool with the Sydney Roosters, the Parramatta Eels and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Australian viewers can catch the action on FOX Sports; the first Broncos game of the tournament kicks off at 13:15 local time (approx. 11:15 Australian time) when Brisbane takes on Parramatta.
Broncos Nines squad: Barba, Hoffman, Copley, Glenn, Mills, Nikorima, Hunt, Kennedy, McCullough, Thaiday, Gillett, Drew, Parker (c), Stagg, Lowrie, Strasser, Ofahengaue, Granville. Coach: Griffin.
weloveleague will preview each group in the lead-up to the Nines tournament