St George Illawarra Dragons Australian and Blues representative Josh Dugan has been named captain of the club’s NRL Auckland Nines squad competing at Eden Park, Auckland on February 6-7.
The first-time captain will lead an 18-man travelling squad named by head coach Paul McGregor for the two-day tournament which will see six new signings make their first respective appearances for the club.
New recruits Tim Lafai, Dunamis Lui, Josh McCrone, Mose Masoe, Kurt Mann and Sebastine Ikahihifo have all been named as has returning former player, Kalifa Faifai Loa.
McGregor has chosen to provide young Dragons Matt Dufty, Jacob Host with the opportunity to play against NRL players as well as NYC Graduate from 2015, Jay Gallagher.
“The Nines is an uncharacteristic style of footy due to the nine minute halves and the overall speed of the game which that everyone enjoys and likes being a part of,” said McGregor.
“We’ve done a lot of game-simulated conditioning this pre-season and it’ll be a good opportunity for the quicker guys and more mobile forwards to present themselves in this environment”.