For Rabbitohs forward, Kyle Turner, the Auckland Nines tournament represents an opportunity for he and his teammates to test themselves in a vastly different setting.
With four less player’s on-field, and a range of different tactics and rules at play, the Nines in many ways is still an unknown quantity.
But for Turner, the challenge means a lot - the forward confident that the experience is a good test for he and his teammates as they prepare to open their 2016 Nines campaign tomorrow (Saturday).
“Obviously we’ve got our structures which we’ll be sticking to, but it’s also a good opportunity for us to test ourselves in something different,” said Turner.
“It’s definitely a different experience from normal footy – you don’t tend to last as long as you usually do because of all the extra running around, but it’s a great experience that I loved the first couple of times.
“It’s a very physical game, but it also feels really free-flowing. On top of that, it’s just a fun weekend because you spend time with the boys and New Zealand seems to love it.”
Rabbitohs Head Coach, Michael Maguire, named a strong outfit to contest the tournament’s Waiheke pool this year – a pool that includes the likes of the Roosters, Storm, and Eels. But the make-up of the ‘ultimate’ Nines team is still a matter for debate, despite the Tournament being in its third year.
For Turner – who will now play in his third Nines tournament – there is a place for all different types of players in the abbreviated format of the game.
“There’s a place for all different types of players at the Nines,” said Turner.
“Small, zippy players seem to get on really well, but the big boppers seem to go alright too. If we can get on the back of a couple of those bigger boys who are going to lay the platform for us, we’ll be in a good position.”
Tune in to Fox Sports, Saturday and Sunday to catch a glimpse of your Rabbitohs at the Auckland Nines.
Rabbitohs 2016 Auckland Nines Draw:
(Day 1) v Roosters 12.30pm local (10.30am AEDT), v Storm 4.50pm local (2.50pm AEDT);
(Day 2) Eels 11am local (9am AEDT).