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Nines opportunity to impress and secure futures

The NRL Nines competition is more than a carnival weekend.

They are a genuine opportunity for hungry youngsters to press their case for an NRL start.

In some cases, it’s their chance to try and secure a contract.

The likes of train and trial players Tyronne Roberts-Davis and Matt Soper-Lawler are expected to get an opportunity in Perth.

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Both men have been training without the promise of an NRL deal beyond the pre-season.


While the squad is yet to be formally announced, the players have been made aware of who will be making the trip across country.

According to veteran backrower, Aidan Guerra, there will be a plethora of eager youngsters on show looking to impress coach Adam O’Brien.

Guerra: Nines, leadership and objectives

“There are guys there that are still trying to prove to the coach that they have what it takes to be in an NRL squad,” 31-year-old Guerra said.

“Some guys have been on train and trials (contracts) and have been elevated to the Nines squad and now they’re getting their chance.

“There will be players there with a point to prove and I’m looking forward to seeing what the young guy have in store for us.”

Guerra has played in the Nines competition on two occasions with the Roosters.

But this will be his first for the Knights with the veteran co-captaining the team with Kurt Mann.

While the Knights are yet to spend too much time working on specifics for the competition, next week will see the squad of 18 begin their preparations.

In an added boost, Club legend Kurt Gidley is expected to come out of retirement for the two-day competition, although his availability is pending medical approval.

“It’ll be good to get together as the Nines squad and nut out how were going to play,” he said.

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“Although it is a fun tournament, you do want to do well.

“The side we’re taking over there, it’s a good mix.

“Especially with Kurt coming over as well. To add a bit of experience, we’re excited.”