Five-eight Josh Reynolds launches 2016 Auckland Nines jersey that will also carry the White Ribbon logo on the front.
The exciting concept that kicks off the season will enter its third year in 2016 and after being a spectator for the past two years, Reynolds is hoping Coach Des Hasler gives him the nod to play in an interview with the Daily Telegraph today.
“I haven’t played in the nines yet because I’ve been unfortunately injured the last two years, but if I got the nod to go over there, it would be a good hit-out,” Reynolds said.
“It’s not easy. I’ve been watching them from home and it looks like a real struggle. It would be a good challenge to kick-off the season.”
The NRL Auckland Nines has been released ahead of the tournament that will be played at Eden Park, Auckland on February 6 and 7, in 2016.
The groups will be as follows:
· Pool Hunua (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, Manly Sea Eagles, New Zealand Warriors, Brisbane Broncos)
· Pool Rangitoto (Newcastle Knights, North Queensland Cowboys, Penrith Panthers, Wests Tigers)
· Pool Piha (St George Illawarra Dragons, Canberra Raiders, Cronulla Sharks, Gold Coast Titans)
· Pool Waiheke (Sydney Roosters, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Parramatta Eels, Melbourne Storm)
This will be the first time fans will get to see the Bulldogs in action for the year and as in seasons past, the tournament has been action-packed.
Bulldogs centre Josh Morris played in the tournament last year and believes next year will be bigger and better.
“Whilst we haven’t been very successful in years gone by at the tournament, it’s definitely something that is very exciting to be part of and something that the players love being able to play in,” he said.
“With not much international footy being played in the off-season, there is a big chance that a lot of the big name players and excitement machines will selected to play in 2016.
The action on the field is always match off the field with the members and fans creating a good atmosphere, so it would be good to see some Bulldogs supporters there.”
Bulldogs fans who live in New Zealand are encouraged to become members of the club, joining as a ‘NEW ZEALAND PLUS’ member that will include a ticket to the Auckland Nines, plus much more.
The tournament will run over two days on Saturday February 6 and Sunday February 7 at Eden Park, Auckland. It has been confirmed Australia's women's team the Jillaroos will also take on New Zealand's Kiwi Ferns over the weekend once again.
Each nine-a-side game is played over two nine-minute halves, with clubs naming a squad of 18 for the tournament. A whopping $NZ2.6 million in prize money is up for grabs in the 2016 tournament.
After a round robin format in each pool, the top two teams will advance to the quarter-finals.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs will be defending their 2015 Auckland Nines title, having beaten the Cronulla Sharks in the 2015 final. Issac Luke, who lifted the trophy as the Rabbitohs captain this year, could make his debut for his new club the Warriors in the tournament alongside fellow star signing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
The Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs became the first professional sporting team in Australia to sign White Ribbon as their major community partner in 2014.
The Club has committed to assisting White Ribbon in their work to eliminate violence against women with a three year partnership that will see:
- all players taking the White Ribbon Oath (I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men's violence against women.
- the Bulldogs becoming a White Ribbon accredited work place & encouraging business partners to follow their lead
- players trained to operate as White Ribbon Ambassadors
- the delivery of the White Ribbon Schools programme to five schools within the Canterbury Bankstown District during every year of the partnership
- promotion of White Ribbon messaging through game day activations
- provision of significant fundraising opportunities for White Ribbon