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The Newcastle Knights arrived in Auckland late on Wednesday evening for the inaugural Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines tournament and hit the ground running, with a training session at Trusts Stadium on Thursday morning.


Coach Wayne Bennett and the entire squad then spent their first afternoon in Auckland with hundreds of youngsters at Ellerslie Eagles Junior Rugby League Club, running clinics, signing autographs and photos.


"I like the idea of the Nines, it has a lot of merit and I am pleased we are all here," Bennett said.


"I am pleased the footy is back and more importantly the fans are happy the footy is back.


"To see all the talent in one place is exceptional."


On Friday, Bennett and Jarrod Mullen will attend the official breakfast for the 16 Captains and Coaches before all clubs are officially welcomed to Auckland at a Civic Reception.


NRL Chief Executive, Mr Dave Smith, Dick Smith CEO, Mr Nick Abboud; and the Mayor of Auckland, Mr Len Brown along with the 16 NRL Nines squads will be at the Aotea Civic Reception in Queen Street in Auckland's CBD from 12.15pm.


NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS' SQUAD: 1 – Adam Clydsdale, 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.


For draw details and all you need to know about the Nines, CLICK HERE.