18 Jan 2015

Vatuvei, Johnson, Mannering named in Nines squad

7:47 am on 18 January 2015

The Warriors coach Andrew McFadden has included most of the club's big names in a preliminary squad of 22 players for the second edition of league's Nines competition in Auckland this month.

Manu Vatuvei

Manu Vatuvei set to make his Auckland Nines debut Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Shaun Johnson will again captain the side which will feature Kiwis skipper Simon Mannering, record-try-scoring winger Manu Vatuvei, fullback Sam Tomkins, front rower Ben Matulino and hooker Nathan Friend.

New signings Ryan Hoffman, Jonathan Wright, Bodene Thompson and Matt Allwood have also been named.

Other established NRL players selected are Ben Henry, Sione Lousi, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Ngani Laumape, Suaia Matagi, Chad Townsend and Dominique Peyroux.

Five of the club's most exciting young prospects from the 2015 NYC premiership-winning Junior Warriors make up the balance of the squad.

A total of 12 of the initial squad played at the 2014 Nines.

Last year the Vodafone Warriors stormed through their pool matches but were eliminated by eventual winners the Cowboys in the semi-finals.

Warriors: *Shaun Johnson (captain), Matthew Allwood, Nathan Friend, Ben Henry, *Ryan Hoffman, *Sebastine Ikahihifo, *Solomone Kata, *Ngani Laumape, Sam Lisone, *Tuimoala Lolohea, *Sione Lousi, Simon Mannering, *Suaia Matagi, Ben Matulino, Ken Maumalo, *Dominique Peyroux, Nathaniel Roache, *Bodene Thompson, *Sam Tomkins, Chad Townsend, Manu Vatuvei, *Jonathan Wright

(Asterisk denotes players who appeared in the 2014 NRL Auckland Nines)