Local junior and five-eighth Josh Reynolds will skipper the Bulldogs at the 2017 NRL Downer Auckland Nines starting this Saturday (February 4th).
The 27-year old, who grew up only streets away from Belmore, idolised the likes of Terry Lamb and Jim Dymock, as a youngster and is looking forward to captaining the squad at this year’s Nines.
"It's a massive honour for myself to have played at this club for all the years I have. To be rewarded with this responsibility is a huge achievement and I'm definitely going to lead the boys with pride," said Reynolds.
It will be the first time that Reynolds has made the trip to Eden Park for the two day tournament since it began in 2014.
"It's my first nines competition. I've always wanted to go and this year I get to be amongst it."
Joining Reynolds in the side will be International forwards David Klemmer and Sam Kasiano, in addition to Bulldogs' Rookie of the Year, Kerrod Holland and a host of rookies.
"It's great to see Des send over a lot of the young kids. There has been a lot of guys who have been rewarded with a spot this year due to their work ethic over the summer.
"There is no better way for the young rookies in our squad to prove themselves at Auckland in front of a big crowd."
Preparations for the upcoming season began back in early November in what could only be described as one of the toughest and hottest pre-seasons to date. Despite this the ever popular five-eight believes the Bulldogs will be hungrier than ever in 2017.
"It's been one of the hottest pre-seasons that I have been a part of. The boys have had some gruelling training sessions, but come those tough times throughout the season we all know the work we have put it, will count.
"There's been change. It's a happy camp here and I feel after going down to the Penrith Panthers in the opening round of the finals last year, it has given the boys a kick in the backside. We've taken it on board and can’t wait for the season to begin."
The first match for the Blue and Whites during the tournament will be against the Panthers on Saturday, February 4 (10.25am AEDT/12.25pm Local Time)