Rabbitohs Head Coach, Michael Maguire, spoke to Rabbitohs TV following the naming of his 2016 Auckland Nines line-up today (Tuesday).
A squad of 18 players was named for the trip across the Tasman, with a balance of talented forwards and backs, as well as a mixture of experience and youth set to take on the Sydney Roosters, Parramatta Eels, and Melbourne Storm during the pool stages of the tournament.
For Maguire and his men, this week’s third annual Nines tournament at Eden Park in New Zealand is a platform with a number of opportunities.
“The boys have put a lot into the pre-season,” said Maguire.
“Now’s the time that all the practice comes into the game, so the boys are really looking forward to the Nines.
“I think the Nines bring a great opportunity to all the players in the Club.
“It gives them that opportunity to get out and play together and work the combinations that they’ve been practicing.
“I know our boys are really looking forward to going over and seeing our young boys being with our old boys and starting the footy up.
“I think just the fact that they’re keen to play footy together – that’s the one thing I’m really looking forward to.”
Those sentiments were echoed prior to today’s team announcement, with Cody Walker and Hymel Hunt both speaking of their desire to play in the Nines and most importantly, for their teammates. Both players will take their place in the squad this weekend.
Asked if his side could take anything out of the last two seasons at the tournament, Maguire agreed that much had been learnt.
“We learnt a lot – the style of play that each team chooses to play,” said Maguire.
“With the players we’ve got, we’ve identified certain individuals that excel in certain areas, so we’re looking forward to doing a bit of practice out there on the park now.”
To watch the full interview, please press play on the video player.