Strong Nines squad announced

Titans coach Neil Henry has picked a strong side full of speed and experience for the Auckland Nines during the weekend of January 31 and February 1.

The squad, sponsored by Pivotal Homes, of 18 includes 2015 newcomers Lachlan Burr, Kierran Moseley, Josh Hoffman, Matt Robinson and Davin Crampton.

Crampton and Hazard are yet to play NRL but have impressed Henry with their application at training. Hazard made the trip to Auckland last year where he played in a trial against the Warriors after the Nines tournament but injury curtailed his progress in 2014 as he remained in the under-20s.

Moseley and Burr have played just one NRL match each but are seen by the Titans as valuable players of the future.

“It is a team with a great blend of speed out wide but a fair bit of mobility and size in the forwards,” said Henry.

“I think we have plenty of players suited to the open spaces on Nines football and the boys are keen to do well; it’s a great promotion for the game in New Zealand and here.

“The squad has been training very hard on fitness and skills and this is our first chance to put some of that into practice.

“It will be a good hit out for the squad before we head to Toowoomba a week later for a trial against the Warriors in Toowoomba.”

The :Pivotal Homes Nines squad is subject to change with the fitness of a couple of players with minor injury to be checked next week. Greg Bird, Nate Myles and Kevin Gordon were left out because of injury.

BACKS: Will Zillman, James Roberts, Anthony Don, David Mead, Josh Hoffman, Brad Tighe, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Aidan Sezer, Daniel Mortimer, Christian Hazard.

FORWARDS: Kierran Moseley, Ryan James, Mark Ioane, Luke Douglas, Lachlan Burr, Davin Crampton, Dave Taylor, Matt Robinson.

The Titans’ preliminary matches: v Warriors, 2.45pm Saturday; v Wests Tigers, 6.15pm Saturday; v Canberra Raiders, 1.15pm Sunday.