NRL.com has run the rule over the 12 men’s squads from the Downer Rugby League World Cup Nines tournament which kicks off at Bankwest Stadium on Friday night.
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Another squad with plenty of up-and-coming talent, the key man here will be Nines veteran Shaun Johnson.
Now at the Sharks, Johnson was the beating heart of every Warriors’ Auckland Nines campaigns with the full bag of tricks helping his club to the 2016 final and with assistance from exciting young Eels playmaker Dylan Brown, who improved rapidly through the 2019 season.
World Cup 9s Player Focus: Dylan Brown
An array of some of the best finishers in the competition in the shape of Ken Maumalo, Reimis Smith, Jamayne Isaako and Bailey Simonsson ensures half-chances should be taken.
The likes of Joe Tapine, Briton Nikora and Corey Harawira-Naera bring skill and mobility to the forwards while the late call-up of Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad for Jordan Rapana adds X-factor at the back.
The Kiwis World 9s will be disappointed if they aren’t one of the two teams to make it out of Group A.