Green confident in Storm Nines side
Melbourne five-eighth 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 this weekend.
It will be the first time that Green leads a Storm side out to battle, and he's relishing the challenge.
"It's not something that I'm used to, but I guess I'm the senior player in the group that we're sending over, so it's something I'm looking forward to," he said.
As Green has been upgraded to the leadership group this season, he sees this opportunity as one to showcase his mature side.
"It's probably important for me to be pretty calm and collected out there… it's a fast game, I suppose it's easy for some of the young boys to lose their heads a little bit, so that's probably the main thing I'm going to try and bring."
The Storm's 18-man squad is predominately a youthful one, with the average age just over 22, with Green the oldest member at 29 years of age.
The pre-season competition has been known to give younger players a big chance to gain some experience at a high level, and Green is looking forward to seeing how the tournament will test his squad.
"They get to come up against some pretty special athletes across the NRL, and test themselves physically and see where they're at," he said.
Even though the squad may not be boasting the likes of Billy Slater and Cameron Smith, it's a side that Green believes is capable of going all the way.
"It would be great [to win the competition]. We're not going over there to make up the numbers, we're going to be as competitive as we can."
The pursuit for the trophy will be led by some exciting youngsters including Curtis Scott, who is one player Green believes could make his mark on this tournament.
"He's a good young kid, he's very fast, very agile, so he's certainly one to look out for," he said.
"We've also got some young forwards that are a part of the squad in Joe Stimson and Dean Britt, so they're three boys I'd keep an eye on."
The Storm have been drawn in the Waiheke group alongside the Roosters, Rabbitohs and Eels, with games against Paramatta and South Sydney on Day 1, before kicking off Day 2 with a game against the Roosters.
Melbourne Storm squad for the Downer Auckland Nines:
1. Curtis Scott
2. Young Tonumaipea
3. Richie Kennar
4. Cameron Munster
5. Marika Koroibete
6. Blake Green - captain
7. Brodie Croft
8. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
9. Ben Hampton
10. Mark Nicholls
11. Kenny Bromwich
12. Tohu Harris
13. Dale Finucane
14. Nafe Seluini
15. Jeremy Hawkins
16. Dean Britt
17. Joe Stimson
18. Tony Tumusa
Coach: Adam O'Brien