A host of big name players, including Warriors stars Shaun Johnson and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, together with some of the hottest young prospects in the game, will feature in this weekend's Downer NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park.
All but three clubs have named their squads, with the Sydney Roosters, South Sydney Rabbitohs and North Queensland Cowboys expected to announce their line-ups in the coming days.
Kiwi international Greg Eastwood has been named captain of Canterbury's Auckland Nines squad. The 28-year-old forward will take over the NRL club's reins for the first time, headlining a squad also featuring fellow big boppers Sam Kasiano and Tony Williams.
Set to make their Bulldogs debuts at this weekend's Nines at Eden Park are former Warriors Under 20s fullback Brad Abbey, Craig Garvey and Kerrod Holland.
Bulldogs: Brad Abbey, Tim Browne, Dane Chisholm, Greg Eastwood (c), Adam Elliott, Matt Frawley, Danny Fualalo, Craig Garvey, Kerrod Holland, Sam Kasiano, Shaun Lane, Jarrod McInally, Pat O'Hanlon, Tyrone Phillips, Ruebenn Rennie, Reimis Smith, Chase Stanley, Tony Williams.
Manly Sea Eagles
Former Wests Tigers flyer Tim Moltzen is the only notable newcomer to feature in the Sea Eagles squad to be captained by prop Jake Trbojevic.
Off-season signings Nate Myles, Dylan Walker and Martin Taupau have been left out of coach Trent Barrett's squad, along with star halfback Daly Cherry-Evans and former Panther Lewis Brown.
Besides Moltzen, new recruits Nathan Green, Isaac John, Wof Lavaka and Matt Parcell will make their debut for Manly.
Sea Eagles: Jayden Hodges, Matt Parcell, Tim Moltzen, Brayden Wiliame, Jamie Buhrer, Nathan Green, Isaac John, Tony Satini, Tom Symonds, Tom Trbojevic, Brenton Lawrence, Fabian Goodall, Jorge Taufua, Wof Lavaka, Jake Trbojevic (c), Feleti Mateo, Blake Leary, Jesse Ramien.
New Zealand Warriors
Shaun Johnson will captain the Warriors in his long-awaited playing return after recovering from a broken ankle that ruined his 2015 NRL season.
The Kiwis test halfback will line-up alongside new marquee signing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck , and other new recruits Blake Ayshford, Jeff Robson and Henare Wells.
Coach Andrew McFadden's 18-man squad includes senior forwards Jacob Lillyman, Ben Matulino, and Ryan Hoffman, while rookie front-rowers Albert Vete, Sam Lisone and Charlie Gubb round out their forward stocks.
Dynamic centres Konrad Hurrell and Solomone Kata and Kiwis rookie Tui Lolohea are among the outside backs, together with David Fusitu'a, Jonathan Wright, and Ken Maumalo, while 18-year-old playmaker Ata Hingano will be on debut.
Warriors: Blake Ayshford, David Fusitu'a, Charlie Gubb, Ata Hingano, Ryan Hoffman, Konrad Hurrell, Shaun Johnson (c), Solomone Kata, Jacob Lillyman, Sam Lisone, Tuimoala Lolohea, Ben Matulino, Ken Maumalo, Jeff Robson, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Albert Vete, Henare Wells, Jonathan Wright.
Representative forward Sam Thaiday will lead a big name Brisbane Broncos' Nines squad.
Fullback Darius Boyd and Kiwis test forwards Alex Glenn and Adam Blair are among the other senior players in a squad that also includes utility Corey Oates and Queensland Emerging Origin squad member Joe Ofahengaue.
Broncos: Sam Thaiday (c), Elijah Alick, Carlin Anderson, Jai Arrow, Adam Blair, Darius Boyd, Alex Glenn, Keegan Hipgrave, Andrew McCullough, Francis Molo, Todd Murphy, Darren Nicholls, Corey Oates, Joseph Ofahengaue, Tom Opacic, Jonus Pearson, Sam Scarlett, Caleb Timu.
Sydney Roosters: To be announced
South Sydney Rabbitohs:
New signing Cody Walker will turn out for South Sydney for the first time as they look to defend their NRL Auckland Nines title.
The 26-year-old joined the Rabbitohs over the offseason after leaving Melbourne, and is considered the front-runner to fill in for suspended five-eighth Luke Keary for their round one NRL match against arch rivals the Sydney Roosters on March 6.
Coach Michael Maguire has left out big-names Greg Inglis, Sam and George Burgess, and Adam Reynolds, naming a relatively inexperienced Nines squad.
Former skipper John Sutton will lead the side, which also features new signings Michael Oldfield, Damien Cook and Hymel Hunt.
Rabbitohs: Alex Johnston, Michael Oldfield, Bryson Goodwin, Ed Murphy, Cameron McInnes, Cody Walker, Damien Cook, John Sutton (capt), Tom Burgess, Kyle Turner, Jason Clark, Paul Carter, Chris Grevsmuhl, John Olive, Kirisome Auva'a, Hymel Hunt, Jack Gosiewski, Zane Musgrove.
Blockbusting Parramatta winger Semi Radradra will return to the tournament he dominated last year, in an Eels squad captained by five-eighth Corey Norman.
NRL regulars including Junior Paulo, Manu Ma'u, Tepai Moeroa and David Gower are among those making the trip across the Tasman, while new recruits Mitch Cornish and Cameron King will make their blue-and-gold debuts.
Exciting young fullback Bevan French and back-rower Matt Woods are the only two men in the 18-man squad yet to make their NRL debuts.
Eels: Mitch Cornish, Bureta Faraimo, John Folau, Bevan French, David Gower, Luke Kelly, Cameron King, Manu Ma'u, Tepai Moeroa, Ryan Morgan, Cody Nelson, Corey Norman (c), Junior Paulo, Semi Radradra, Kelepi Tanginoa, Peni Terepo, Vai Toutai, Matt Woods.
Billy Slater will feature for Melbourne at this weekend's Auckland Nines - but not as a player.
The gun fullback will travel to New Zealand as coach Craig Bellamy's assistant along with Kiwis test prop Jesse Bromwich.
The low-key Storm squad will also be without the remainder of their "Big Three": skipper Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk.
Blake Green will lead a Storm squad featuring Kiwi international Tohu Harris, Queensland Emerging Origin squad member Cameron Munster and Fijian speedster Marika Koroibete.
Storm: Curtis Scott, Young Tonumaipea, Richie Kennar, Cameron Munster, Marika Koroibete, Blake Green (c), Brodie Croft, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Ben Hampton, Mark Nicholls, Kenny Bromwich, Tohu Harris, Dale Finucane, Nafe Seluini, Jeremy Hawkins, Dean Britt, Joe Stimson, Tony Tumusa.
Three sets of brothers will take the field for the Knights, alongside five emerging players yet to feature in the NRL.
Coach Nathan Brown has named Sims' brothers, Tariq and Korbin, along with the Mat'utia trio, Chanel, Pat and Sione, while the Saifiti twins Daniel and Jacob will get their first taste of top level football.
Jaelen Feeney, Will Pearsall, Brock Lamb will also be on debut, alongside experienced winger Akuila Uate.
Knights: Jaelen Feeney, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Brock Lamb, Danny Levi, Jake Mamo, Chanel Mata'utia, Pat Mata'utia, Sione Mata'utia, William Pearsall, Tyler Randell, Robbie Rochow, Nathan Ross, Korbin Sims, Tariq Sims, Daniel Saifiti, Jacob Saifiti, Joseph Tapine, Akuila Uate.
North Queensland Cowboys:
The Cowboys are set to make a serious tilt at their second Nines title, after coach Paul Green named a strong squad featuring 13 players who played in last year's NRL grand final victory.
Workaholic back-rower Gavin Cooper will captain the side as they look to repeat their success of their inaugural Nines tournament win in 2014, in the absence of usual co-captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott.
Damaging Kiwis test back-rower Jason Taumalolo, five-eighth Michael Morgan, and Kangaroos test prop James Tamou are among the side's premiership winners, while club hero Matt Bowen will don the No1 jersey in his cameo appearance.
Cowboys: Matthew Bowen, Kyle Feldt, Justin O'Neill, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Lachlan Coote, Ray Thompson, John Asiata, Jake Granville, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper (c), Ethan Lowe, Jason Taumalolo, Michael Morgan, Rory Kostjasyn, Coen Hess, Matthew Wright, Gideon Gela-Mosby.
New Zealand under-20s halfback Te Maire Martin will make his first appearance in Panthers colours at the Nines, alongside fellow Kiwis Elijah Taylor and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.
Coach Anthony Griffin's squad also includes NRL stars James Segeyaro, Bryce Cartwright, Josh Mansour, and Reagan-Campbell-Gillard.
Panthers: Waqa Blake, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Bryce Cartwright, Zach Dockar-Clay, Ben Garcia, Corey Harawira, Robert Jennings, Sione Katoa, Jeremy Latimore, Moses Leota, Josh Mansour, Te Maire Martin, James Segeyaro, Chris Smith, Will Smith, Elijah Taylor, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Isaah Yeo.
Chris Lawrence will lead coach Jason Taylor's Wests Tigers squad that also includes exciting trio Tim Simona, Kevin Naiqama and Manaia Cherrington.
Six players will be making their Nines debuts, including rookies Joshua Addo-Carr, Tyler Cassel and Watson Heleta.
The tournament will be the first appearance for a number of new recruits such as Michael Chee-Kam, Justin Hunt and Jack Littlejohn.
Wests Tigers: Josh Addo-Carr, Jack Buchanan, Tyler Cassel, Michael Chee-Kam, Manaia Cherrington, Josh Drinkwater, Rod Griffin, Watson Heleta, Justin Hunt, Chris Lawrence (c), Lamar Liolevave, Jack Littlejohn, Kyle Lovett, Nathan Milone, Kevin Naiqama, Ava Seumanufagai, Tim Simona, Sauaso Sue.
St George Illawarra Dragons
Six players will debut for the St George Illawarra in a powerful Nines squad led by Kangaroos and NSW fullback Josh Dugan.
New recruits Tim Lafai, Dunamis Lui, Josh McCrone, Mose Masoe, Kurt Mann and Sebastine Ikahihifo have all been named as has returning Dragon, Kalifa Faifai Loa.
Youngsters Matt Dufty and Jacob Host will also appear together with 2015 NYC Graduate Jay Gallagher.
Dragons: Euan Aitken, Jack de Belin, Matt Dufty, Josh Dugan (c), Kalifa Faifai Loa, Jay Gallagher, Yaw Kiti Glymin, Jacob Host, Drew Hutchison, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Tim Lafai, Dunamis Lui, Kurt Mann, Jake Marketo, Josh McCrone, Mose Masoe, Peter Mata'utia, Mitch Rein.
Club legend Jason Croker will make a comeback for the Raiders, joining his nephew Lachlan, who has been named to play in the halves.
Young duo Kato Ottio and Zac Santo are set to make their first appearances for the club, and NYC stars Thomas Cronan and Jack Williams will also have their chance to shine on the big stage.
Powerhouse forwards Paul Vaughan and Shannon Boyd will be making their nines debuts, with Jarrod Croker once again captaining the Green Machine.
Raiders: Kurt Baptiste, Mitch Barnett, Luke Bateman, Shannon Boyd, Jason Croker, Jarrod Croker (c), Lachlan Croker, Thomas Cronan, Jarrad Kennedy, Rhys Kennedy, Brenko Lee, Kato Ottio, Jordan Rapana, Zac Santo, Paul Vaughan, Sisa Waqa, Jack Williams, Sam Williams.
Former Warriors playmaker Chad Townsend will make his first appearance back in Sharks colours, alongside utility Ben Barba and exciting youngsters Jack Bird and Valentine Holmes.
Hardened veterans Luke Lewis, Matt Prior and Chris Heighington will also feature together with ball-playing forward Joseph Paulo.
Newcomers Kurt Capewell, Josh Cleeland and Jordan Drew get their chance to impress in their first appearances in Sharks colours.
Sharks: Ben Barba, Gerard Beale, Jack Bird, Mitch Brown, Kurt Capewell, Josh Cleeland, Jordan Drew, Sosaia Feki, David Fifita, Chris Heighington, Valentine Holmes, Ricky Leutele, Luke Lewis, Matt McIlwrick, Joseph Paulo, Matt Prior, Sam Tagataese, Chad Townsend.
Gold Coast Titans
High profile recruits Ashley Taylor, Tyrone Roberts and Chris McQueen will make their Gold Coast debuts, alongside former Australian rugby sevens speedster Shannon Walker.
Senior players Greg Bird, William Zillman, David Mead, Ryan James and Daniel Mortimer will provide plenty of experience, to help guide exciting teenage prospects Brian Kelly, Greg Leleisiuao, Shane Wright and Nathan Davis.
Titans: Greg Bird, Lachlan Burr, Nathan Davis, Ryan James, Brian Kelly, Greg Leleisiuao, Nene Macdonald, Chris McQueen, David Mead, Daniel Mortimer, Agnatius Paasi, Nathaniel Peteru, Tyrone Roberts, Matt Srama, Ash Taylor, Shannon Walker, Shane Wright, Will Zillman.
New Zealand Kiwi Ferns v Australian Jillaroos
Kiwi Ferns: Sarina Fiso (c), Mary-Jane Ale, Maitua Feterika, Nora Maaka, Atawhai Tupaea, Georgia Hale, Kristina Sue, Charmaine Mcmenamin, Alex Cook, Annetta Nuuausala, Teuila Fotu-Moala, Kelly Maipi, Kahurangi Peters, Tasha Davie, Amber Kani, Langi Veainu.
Jillaroos: Sam Bremner, Karina Brown, Annette Brander, Sasha Mahuika, Chelsea Baker, Allana Ferguson, Maddie Studdon, Steph Hancock (c), Brittany Breayley, Ruan Sims, Kezie Apps, Renae Kunst, Kody House, Corban McGregor, Casey Karklis, Vanessa Foliaki.
- With AAP