Warriors captain Shaun Johnson's return from a broken ankle at the Downer NRL Auckland Nines has been designed for him to buck any mental concerns.
He is earmarked as the long-term partner to Shaun Johnson in the Warriors halves, and Ata Hingano can't wait to play alongside him at the Auckland Nines.
At 32 years of age veteran Roosters hooker Ian Henderson will make his Nines debut this weekend, a whole 13 seasons after making his NRL debut at the club.
An unexpected injury has handed new Penrith recruit Suaia Matagi the chance to not only head home to Auckland but to play his fist minutes in Penrith colours.
His ball-playing ability will be on show this weekend but Panthers young gun Te Maire Martin says his focus will be on defence at the Downer NRL Auckland Nines.
The writers at NRL.com make their predictions ahead of the 2016 Downer NRL Auckland Nines. Which teams and players should you be keeping an eye out for?
The official team lists for all teams competing in the 2016 Downer NRL Auckland Nines, including the Kiwi Ferns and Australian Jillaroos.
Wayne Bennett has been tight lipped on who the next skipper will be since the retirement of Justin Hodges, but Sam Thaiday is happy to fill the breach at Nines.
The 2016 Auckland Nines may only be the third edition of the pre-season tournament but the competition has already unearthed its fair share of breakout stars.
Blake Green will lead a mixture of young players and experienced campaigners when he takes the reigns as captain of the Storm at the Downer Auckland Nines.