The Newcastle Knights have named an 18-man squad for the 2015 Dick Smith Auckland Nines tournament, with Jarrod Mullen to captain the side.

The choice to send Mullen has been considered a risk by many, after the Knight’s star missed the start of last year’s NRL season following a major hamstring injury in the inaugural Nine’s tournament. The Knights have said that there was a choice between sending Gidley and Mullen, and in the end decided to go with the latter.

The squad also includes Australian representative young gun Sione Mata’utia, alongside other notables in Korbin Sims, Dane Gagai, Tyrone Roberts and Chris Houston. NRL hooker Adam Clydsdale will also take part in the side.

Amongst the NRL players is a number of Knights juniors, including National Youth Competition captain Danny Levi, who will look to use the tournament as a spring-board to the first grade side.

The Newcastle side have been grouped in the Rangitoto pool, and will open their tournament with a game against the Dragons, before taking on the Eels later on day one. They then take the Sea Eagles on the morning of day two.

Newcastle Knights 2015 Dick Smith Auckland Nines Squad
1. Sione Mata’utia
2. Jake Mamo
3. Dane Gagai
4. Chanel Mata’utia
5. Carlos Tuimavave
6. Jarrod Mullen (c)
7. Tyrone Roberts
8. Pat Mata’utia
9. Adam Clydsdale
10. Paterika Vaivai
11. Tyler Randell
12. Chris Houston
13. Robbie Rochow
14. Nathan Ross
15. Korbin Sims
16. Joseph Tapine
17. Jack Stockwell
18. Danny Levi

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Sam Dasey studied a Bachelor of Sports Media at UC, graduating at the end of 2013. He has undertaken internships with Canberra Times and Touch Football Australia, as well as a local radio station in Canberra.