The Newcastle Knights' finalised their 16-man squad for the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines, with five-eighth Jarrod Mullen set to captain the side in the two-day tournament.
SQUAD: 1 – Chanel Mata’utia, 2 – Jake Mamo, 3 – Dane Gagai, 4 – Joseph Leilua, 5 – Akuila Uate, 6 – Jarrod Mullen (c), 7 – Tyrone Roberts, 8 – Willie Mason, 9 – Adam Clydsdale, 10 – Chris Houston, 11 – Beau Scott, 12 – Robbie Rochow, 13 – Jeremy Smith, 14 – Michael Dobson, 15 – Alex McKinnon, 16 – Zane Tetevano.
If the Auckland Nines is all about fast paced exciting footy, then Beau Scott has no doubts the Newcastle Knights have all the attributes to succeed at the inaugural tournament.
He believes the Club is well served in the speed and skill department, nominating the likes of Aku Uate, Dane Gagai, Joey Leilua and NYC graduate Jake Mamo as players to watch out for at the Nines.
"I’m really excited," Scott says about the Nines, which will be played on February 15 and 16.
"It is an unknown, so it is pretty hard to train for and we haven't focused on it too much but from our side, I think there are a couple of young kids to look out for.
"You’ve got Jake Mamo and he is lightning, so it will be good to see him get a run.
"Then there’s Aku and Dane, this is probably their style of football; they are pretty evasive players.
"Other than that, we’ve got a fair bit of experience."
While Scott is expecting the likes of Uate and young Mamo to star at the Nines, he also believes the forwards will play a significant role in the fast-paced format.
"I think it will be like the real game of league and everyone will have a role to play," he added.
"There should be a lot of football played and it will be interesting to see the way it will all unfold.
"I also think everyone is going to be competitive on the day.
"It’s nine-minute halves, so there isn’t a long time to be out on the field for. It’s going to be pretty electric."
On the back of a season where he was restricted to 16 games due to a groin injury, Scott is just happy to be injury-free and can't wait to play in the Nines and then the NRL season proper.
"I’ve definitely had a very different pre-season to this time last year," he grins.
"I’m fit, ready to go and looking forward to getting out on the park.
"It has been a pretty tough pre-season, as they always are, but it’s the fun time of the year where everyone plays footy again."
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Which Knights player are you looking forward to see play in the Nines competition and why? Let us know in the comments section below.