NRL Nines: Stars, young guns galore as teams revealed
The long off-season is almost over and rugby league begins anew in 2020 with the return of the NRL Nines, once of Auckland but now of Perth.
All 16 NRL clubs will trek across the desert for two-days of high-octane action and fans will be salivating for a first look at some of the game's biggest names.
With established stars, up and coming rookies and a few former legends thrown into the mix, it promises to be the perfect way to whet the appetite for the 2020 season.
Here's every player from every squad as they're announced ahead of the tournament's launch on Friday.
1 Jamayne Isaako 2 Tesi Niu 3 Herbie Farnworth 4 Izaia Perese 5Xavier Coates 6Anthony Milford 7 Brodie Croft 8 Tom Dearden 9David Fifita 10Alex Glenn 11 Payne Haas 12 Ethan Bullemor 13 Jake Turpin 14 Cory Paix 15 Thomas Flegler 16 Jesse Arthars 17 Ilikena Vudogo 18Corey Parker
Anthony Milford, David Fifita and Payne Haas headline an impressive squad that is stacked with young talent.
Backline flyers Jamayne Isaako, Tesi Niu, Jesse Arthars and Herbie Farnworth will be keen to impress alongside boom winger and Round 1 hopeful Xavier Coates who could light up the tournament with his powerful 102kg frame.
Milford will be supported by playmakers Tom Dearden and Brodie Croft, the latter of whom will make his Broncos debut after his off-season departure from the Melbourne Storm.
Broncos 347-game legend Corey Parker comes out of retirement for a Nines cameo.
Nick Meaney, Jayden Okunbor, Kerrod Holland, Morgan Harper, Jack Cogger, Jake Averillo, Brandon Wakeham, Dean Britt, Ben Marschke, Ofahiki Ogden, Corey Harawira-Naera, Chris Smith, Joe Stimson, Andrew Ryan, Kayne Kalache, Toa Mata'afa, Isaiah Tass, Bailey Biondi-Odo
Canterbury have named a young squad, which will be captained by Kiwi backrower Corey Harawira-Naera. Nick Meaney and Morgan Harper will be two players to watch, while Jayden Okunbor could have some joy in the wide open spaces of Nines football.
Michael Bell, Jake Clifford, Scott Drinkwater, Mitch Dunn, Kyle Feldt, Jake Granville
Coen Hess, Peter Hola, Connelly Lemuelu, Esan Marsters, Josh McGuire, Tom Opacic
Reece Robson, Dan Russell, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Murray Taulagi, Jason Taumalolo, Shane Wright
Jason Taumalolo is the biggest name in a very solid North Queensland squad that also includes speed machine Scott Drinkwater, new recruit Esan Marsters and Nines specialist Kyle Feldt. Keep an eye out for Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow - he's only young, but the 18-year old could be something very special.
1. Aidan Guerra 2. Kurt Mann 3. Nathaniel Sasagi 4. Bayden Searle 5. Hymel Hunt 6. Gehamat Shibasaki 7. Starford To'a 8. Tex Hoy 9. Sione Mata'utia 10. Tyronne Roberts-Davis 11. Matt Soper-Lawler 12. Pasami Saulo 13. Jirah Momoisea 14. Jacob Saifiti 15. Brodie Jones 16. Kurt Gidley 17. Mason Lino 18. Mitchell Barnett
Aidan Guerra and Kurt Mann lead a young squad that's highlighted by the inclusion of exciting winger Star To'a and Under 20s Origin representative Tex Hoy. Former Titan Tyronne Roberts-Davis, currently on a train and trial deal, may also be one to watch.
1 Dylan Edwards 2 Josh Mansour 3 Dean Whare 4 Brent Naden 5 Stephen Crichton 6 Jarome Luai 7 Nathan Cleary 8 Moses Leota 9 Apisai Koroisau 10 Jack Hetherington 11 Viliame Kikau 12 Billy Burns 13 Liam Martin 14 Kaide Ellis 15 Daine Laurie 16 Matt Burton 17 Caleb Aekins 18 Tyson Smoothy
Nathan Cleary, Viliame Kikau and new recruit Apisai Koroisau lead a strong-looking Penrith side which also boasts first-grade regulars Josh Mansour, Dylan Edwards and Dean Whare.
Promising playmakers Jarome Luai and Matt Burton, who are vying for the No.6 jumper vacated by James Maloney, will also feature.
1. AJ Brimson 2. Anthony Don 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Jonus Pearson 5. Phil Sami 6. Tanah Boyd 7. Ash Taylor 8. Jai Whitbread 9. Mitch Rein 10. Sam Stone 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Jaimin Joliffe 13. Jai Arrow 14. Greg Leleisiuao 15. Treymain Spry 16. Erin Clark 17. Darius Farmer 18. Michael Gordon
Million-dollar man Ash Taylor headlines a strong Titans squad as Gold Coast search for their first piece of silverware in their 13-year history.
Taylor, who missed much of last season dealing with mental health issues, is joined by Queensland Origin forward Jai Arrow and firecracker utility AJ Brimson.
Journeyman fullback Michael Gordon, who retired at the end of last season, will also pull the boots on one last time, while dynamic outside back Greg Leleisiuao is another one to watch.
Leeson Ah Mau, Rocco Berry, Jackson Frei, Blake Green, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Temple Kalepo, Adam Keighran, Edward Kosi, Sam Lisone, Ken Maumalo, Taane Milne, Agnatius Paasi, Isaiah Papali'i, Hayze Perham Leivaha Pulu, Slestino Ravutaumada, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, Paul Turner
Isaiah Papali'i captains a side which also contains NRL stalwarts Blake Green, Leeson Ah Mau and Sam Lisone, alongside the exciting Chanel Harris-Tavita and Ken Maumalo. Agnatius Paasi is one to watch - the big unit made the team of the tournament in 2016.
2020 NRL NINES POOLS
Pool 1: Panthers, Warriors, Roosters, Knights
Pool 2: Bulldogs, Dragons, Eels, Sharks
Pool 3: Raiders, Wests Tigers, Titans, Rabbitohs
Pool 4: Cowboys, Storm, Broncos, Sea Eagles
2020 NRL NINES SCHEDULE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14
4.05pm: Warriors (W) v Roosters (W)
4.30pm: Panthers v Roosters
4.55pm: Warriors v Knights
5.20pm: Bulldogs v Eels
5.45pm: Dragons v Sharks
6.10pm: Raiders v Titans
6.35pm: Wests Tigers v Rabbitohs
7pm: Cowboys v Broncos
7.25pm: Storm v Sea Eagles
8.05pm: Broncos (W) v Dragons (W)
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15
10.20am: Roosters (W) v Broncos (W)
10.45am: Warriors (W) v Dragons (W)
11.10am: Knights v Panthers
11.35am: Roosters v Warriors
12pm: Sharks v Bulldogs
12.25pm: Eels v Dragons
12.55pm: Rabbitohs v Raiders
1.20pm: Titans v Wests Tigers
1.45pm: Sea Eagles v Cowboys
2.10pm: Broncos v Storm
2.40pm: Quarter Final 1 - 1st Pool A v 2nd Pool B
3.05pm: Quarter Final 2 -1st Pool B v 2nd Pool A
3.30pm: Quarter Final 3 -1st Pool C v 2nd Pool D
3.55pm: Quarter Final 4 -1st Pool D v 2nd Pool C
4.20pm: Broncos (W) v Warriors (W)
4.45pm: Dragons (W) v Roosters (W)
5.20pm: Semi Final 1 - Winner Quarter Final 1 v Winner Quarter Final 2
5.45pm: Semi Final 1 - Winner Quarter Final 2 v Winner Quarter Final 4
6.25pm: Women's Final
7pm: Men's Final