Queensland great and Brisbane Broncos captain Sam Thaiday is looking forward to showing off his skills when he returns to New Zealand next year.

The big back rower visited Rotorua this week to promote the February 15-16 Auckland Nines.

Thaiday said it was his first time in Rotorua and he enjoyed the drive from Auckland through the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. He looked forward to playing in the nines. "I have a few tricks in my bag that I have wanted to pull out but haven't been able to," he said. "I want to show off as much pace as I've got. It is unlimited interchange as well, which will help."

Although the nines may suit quick men such as Broncos recruit Ben Barba, Thaiday said the forwards would play a big part.

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He said the hardest challenge for him this year was his charity fight against Chiefs player Ben Tameifuna last weekend, which he won. "I'm used to having 16 other guys around me, helping me out."