Wests Tigers pin Auckland Nines hopes on young guns

Photo of author

Auckland Nines
Experience: Pat Richards, pictured with fans last week, will be a big part of the Wests Tigers’ Nine’s push on the weekend.

The Wests Tigers team for this weekend’s NRL Auckland Nines is top heavy with young guns but has a sprinkling of experience, including Chris Lawrence, who will skipper the side.

This will be Lawrence’s first appearance at the Nines.

The Tigers are pooled with the Warriors, Titans and Raiders.

Experienced winger Pat Richards, plus young guns Manaia Cherrington and Delouise Hoeter will make their second NRL Auckland Nines appearance for Wests Tigers, with new recruit Kevin Naiqama also returning to the tournament after playing for Penrith last year.

It will be Naiqama’s first appearance in Wests Tigers colours, along with former Dragons and London Broncos halfback Josh Drinkwater.

There will be plenty of young talent on show from the 2015 NRL squad with rookies Salesi Funaki, Lamar Liolevave, Kyle Lovett, Cherrington and Hoeter all named to take the field in what shapes up to be an exciting weekend of football.

Head coach Jason Taylor said the tournament will provides another avenue for players to impress ahead of the NRL season.

“We have selected a fairly young side but it’s an exciting one,” Taylor said.

“It provides a number of these players with an opportunity to stake their claims on a spot for Round 1 in March and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they’ve got.

“It’s an exciting format of the game and I feel we have a team that has a good mix of youth, experience and speed which will suit the tournament.”

The squad (in alphabetical order) is:

Sitaleki Akauola, Nathan Brown, Jack Buchanan, Manaia Cherrington, Josh Drinkwater, Asipeli Fine, Salesi Funaki, Delouise Hoeter, Chris Lawrence, Lamar Liolevave, Kyle Lovett, Joel Luani, Kevin Naiqama, Pat Richards, Brenden Santi, Ava Seumanufagai, Tim Simona, Sauaso Sue.

If you want to catch the Tigers on TV, the tournament will be live on Fox Sports 1.

The Wests Tigers’ pool games will be on:

Saturday, January 31, 12.20pm v Canberra Raiders;

Saturday, January 31, 4.15pm v Gold Coast Titans;

Sunday, February 1, 10.50am v NZ Warriors.

Quarters finals: 1.45pm and 2.10pm.

Semi finals: 3.25pm and 3.50pm.

Final: 5.30pm.


Leave a Comment