Newcastle Knight Trent Hodkinson was among representatives from the 16 NRL clubs to officially unveil their Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines jerseys ahead of the tournament at Eden Park on February 6 and 7.
The carnival-like tournament will be the first and only time in 2016 all clubs will compete at the same ground on the same day, with many players likely to make their debuts for new clubs.
The Knights’ new recruit is looking forward to the occasion and the potential to have his first run with his new teammates.
“The Nines is an exciting tournament and there are plenty of chances across the weekend to see all the teams in action,” he said.
The tournament could also be the first occasion he officially dons the red and blue.
“It’s a little bit different being in the new colours…it feels good,” he said.
“I can’t wait to throw it on, get out there amongst the boys and rip in.”
The representative halfback was proud to reveal the 2016 Nines jersey at the event in Sydney and says he loves the eye catching design.
“The jersey is great. It’s a little bit out there but I think in a positive way,” he said.
“I’m sure the boys will look good in it."
The Knights are in Rangitoto pool, which seems them take on the North Queensland Cowboys, Penrith Panthers and Wests Tigers.
“The teams in our pool are all very good teams and have had a bit of success at the Nines already,” he said.
“It’s going to be challenge for us."
While he is yet to make his Auckland Nines debut, he’s watched on with great interest and thinks highly of the two-day tournament.
“The concept is great,” he said.
“I’ve watched the Nines from my lounge at home both years and have been really excited and wanted to be out there, but it wasn’t to be.
“It looks like a great weekend and the atmosphere looks really fun and fun to be a part of."
As the Knights’ first hit out of 2016, the Nines tournament also presents a chance for many of the Club’s emerging players to have their first taste of football on the big stage.
“It’s a great opportunity for the younger guys to get a crack at the sort of concept and throw the Newcastle Knights jersey on,” he said.
“Hopefully a lot of younger guys get an opportunity and I know they’ll be very excited for it and will have a great weekend.”