Rugby league legend Ruben Wiki has been named to captain a Warriors side laced with experience for the Downer NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park on February 4 and 5.
Wiki’s comeback for the fourth edition of the event was revealed just two days before his 44th birthday and today Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney added further lustre to the former Kiwi captain’s comeback.
Wiki, who finished his NRL career in 2008, will lead a Warriors squad studded with Nines experience while also featuring a collection of the club’s young players.
The experience is provided by Shaun Johnson, Ryan Hoffman, Tuimoala Lolohea, Solomone Kata and Blake Ayshford who have played in each of the previous three NRL Nines tournaments. Wiki was in the Kiwis’ title-winning side at the World Nines in 1996 and 1997.
"I’m still buzzing about having the chance to play the Nines and now being asked to be captain as well takes it to another level," said Wiki.
"It was humbling to be selected in the first place. To be leading the boys at Eden Park will be one of the highlights of my career."
Warriors 2017 Auckland Nines squad
Ryan Hoffman, Junior Pauga, Matt Allwood, Blake Ayshford, Ata Hingano, Solomone Kata, Shaun Johnson, Ruben Wiki (c), Mason Lino, Bunty Afoa, James Gavet, Tuimoala Lolohea, Jazz Tevaga, Ofahiki Ogden, Lewis Soosemea, Toafofoa Sipley, Isaiah Papalii, James Bell.