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Danny Levi is the first player from the nib Newcastle Knights to be confirmed for the 2017 Auckland Nines, and the New Zealand native is eager to get back home and play in the fast-paced tournament.

It will be his third competition at Eden Park, and it will also be his first match since surgery addressed a back injury that hampered much of his 2016 season.

“I get to see the family again and take a trip back home, and on top of that I get to play in the Nines, which is awesome,” the Wellington junior told Knights TV.

“It’s pretty much a big party for the crowd and they really get into it.

“It’s a buzz for us players and it will be a good experience for some of our younger players who have never been before.”

Coach Nathan Brown is yet to name the squad that will join Levi for the two-day competition, but the likes of Nick Meaney, Sam Stone, Jack Cogger and Brock Lamb have all impressed this pre-season and would be hopeful of making the cut.

“I’m excited to see who else is playing,” Levi said.

“Hopefully the young fellers get a bit of a shot.”

Levi himself has thrived at the Nines on past occasions, as his smaller build and searing pace from dummy-half has troubled defenders with less numbers.

“It will definitely give me a lot more space to move and there will me a lot more gaps in defence,” he said.

“You only really play in four minute stints, but when you’re out there you’ve really got to work.”


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