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The 2017 Auckland Nines may be Jamie Buhrer’s third appearance at the tournament, but it will be his first appearance as a captain.

The 27-year-old has impressed coaching staff this pre-season as he’s settled into a new Club and taken on a leadership role.

It has prompted coach Nathan Brown to name him captain of the Club’s Nines squad, which will contain a mixture of first grade experience and exciting youth prospects.

“It’s a big honour, really,” Buhrer told Knights TV.

“I haven’t been here for too long, but I certainly feel at home and to be recognised this early on as a captain for the Nines is a privilege.”

The squad will be leaving for Auckland on Thursday , with community visits and training scheduled for the Friday before the weekend competition.

The likes of Nick Meaney, Sam Stone, Luke Yates, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Mitch Barnett and Cory Denniss will be making their tournament debuts, with the average age of the squad sitting at 22.

“I think it’s great to have a young squad for the Nines,” Buhrer said.

“We’ll be able to showcase our youth, and the Nines is just a perfect platform to play your own game and enjoy it.”

When asked which players he was most looking forward to seeing in Auckland, Buhrer admitted it was the Club’s speedsters.

“Jaelen Feeney I think is made for the Nines with his speed,” he explained.

“He’s a big feller as well for a half, so I think it will be great for him.

“Nick Meaney is absolutely lightning, so they’re just two that I’m excited to see go.”

The Nines will signal the end of a long and arduous 2017 pre-season, and Buhrer said the players were chomping at the bit to play some football.

“It’s been a long pre-season and everyone’s certainly keen to play some footy now,” he said.

“I just can’t wait to don the red and blue and get amongst it with the boys.”