The South Sydney Rabbitohs will have their first taste of competition football in 2017 this weekend when they venture across the ditch to take part in the fourth instalment of the annual Auckland Nines competition. Featuring in the Hunua Pool, the Rabbitohs will square off against the Canberra Raiders, Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys across the two day tournament.
South Sydney Rabbitohs Auckland Nines Squad:
0) Angus Crichton
1) Damien Cook
3) Bryson Goodwin
4) Aaron Gray
5) Zane Musgrove
6) Sitiveni Moceidreke
7) Brad Deitz
8) Tyrell Fuimaono
10) Braidon Burns
12) Kyle Turner
13) Alex Johnston
15) Anthony Cherrington
16) Cody Walker
18) Hymel Hunt
19) Robert Jennings
21) Thomas Burgess
22) Robbie Rochow
72) Cam Murray
88) Dave Tyrrell
Rabbitohs v. Raiders – February 4th (1:05pm)
The Rabbitohs will be looking to open their account in the tournament when they take on the Canberra Raiders on Saturday. South Sydney are likely to field a youthful side which will include a host of up and comers such as Siosifa Talakai, Braidon Burns, Tyrell Fuimaono, Robert Jennings and Cam Murray. After providing masterclasses in attacking football throughout the 2016 season, similarly to their opposition, the side from the nation’s capital will be a force to be reckoned with in the modified format. However, with a significant number of uncapped players in their squad, the green machine will undoubtedly be seeking to utilise the playmaking ability of Blake Austin and Aiden Sezer and the experience of veteran Jeff Lima to spark the young side.
Canberra Raiders Squad:
Zac Santo, Eddie Aiono, Thomas Cronan, Brent Naden, Nick Cotric, Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer, Dunamis Lui, Adam Clydsdale, Jeff Lima (C), Luke Bateman, Scott Sorensen, Jordan Turner, Paul Roache, Mark McCormack, Anthony Moraitis, Makahesi Makatoa, Topi Tafua.
Rabbitohs v. Roosters – February 4th (5:00pm)
As was the case last year at the Auckland Nines, the men in Red and Green will meet their cross town rivals in the preliminary stage of the tournament. With both sides unable to progress past the group phase in the Waiheke Pool and failing to live up to regular season expectations in 2016, the two foundation clubs will be looking to prove a point when they meet on the opening day. The Roosters are the only side yet to name a squad to travel across the Tasman, but it is more than likely that a range of star players will turn out for the tri colours.
Sydney Roosters Squad:
Connor Watson, Daniel Tupou, Dale Copley, Latrell Mitchell, Joseph Manu,
Paul Momirovski, Mitchell Cornish, Isaac Liu, Paul Carter, Kane Evans, Ryan Matterson, Mitchell Aubusson (c), Aidan Guerra, Chris Smith, Zane Tetevano, Brendan Frei, Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck, Bernard Lewis
Rabbitohs v. Cowboys – February 5th (11:05am)
If any pool match is going to showcase the attacking flare that is expected at the Auckland Nines, this is it. The 2014 and 2015 champions will come together for the penultimate fixture in the Hunua Pool as they both look to stake their claims and press on into the quarter finals. The Cowboys will field one of the most gifted attacking units to take the field in the reduced format with the likes of Jonathan Thurston, Kalyn Ponga, Jason Taumalolo and Gideon Gela-Mosby all set to feature. The Rabbitohs will look to counter their rival’s flamboyance with grit in the middle of the park courtesy of Angus Crichton, Thomas Burgess, Robbie Rochow and Dave Tyrell and their own attacking weapons out wide with the likes of Aaron Gray, Hymel Hunt, Robert Jennings and Tyrell Fuimaono.
North Queensland Cowboys Squad:
John Asiata, Javid Bowen, Gavin Cooper (c), Kyle Feldt, Gideon Gela-Mosby, Jake Granville, Ben Hampton, Coen Hess, Shaun Hudson, Corey Jensen, Kane Linnett, Ethan Lowe, Michael Morgan, Justin O’Neill, Kalyn Ponga, Jason Taumalolo, Johnathan Thurston, Shane Wright.