Ben Barba, Jack Bird and Valentine Holmes are all candidates for the Sharks No.1 jersey in 2016.

Barba and Bird named in Sharks Nines squad

The Sharks have named a squad with speed and youth, mixed with a sprinkling of experience for the 2016 Downer NRL Auckland Nines tournament beginning February 6.

Newcomers Kurt Capewell, Josh Cleeland and Jordan Drew get their chance to impress in their first appearances in Sharks colours, alongside young gun Jack Bird  who lit up Eden Park in the 2015 Nines event in a Cronulla squad which progressed through to the Championship Final.

Throw in playmaker Chad Townsend, exciting utility Ben Barba and ball-playing forward Joseph Paulo, coupled with hardened veterans in Luke Lewis, Matt Prior and Chris Heighington and it adds up to a balanced Sharks team and one which again promises to mount a serious challenge after coming so close to glory just 12 months ago.

Read more and see the full squad at sharks.com.au