The Auckland Aces side has a rejuvenated look with a couple of new faces in the mix, joining some experienced heads for their opening round Ford Trophy match against the Northern Knights at Eden Park's Outer Oval this Sunday.



With several players recovering from injury and Colin Munro off for a stint with the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash, Auckland are looking to blood some new talent in the competition.



Quicks Danru Ferns and Raja Sandhu have both been named in the 12 for the match, a debut lying in wait for both if selected in the XI.



Captain Rob Nicol says there's an air of excitement around the camp as they look to stamp their mark on the Ford Trophy.

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"We as a side are especially keen this season. We have some new faces in Ferns and Sandhu which is always an exciting time for the players and the team," Nicol says.



Ferns says he feels privileged to be joining a side steeped in a history of success.



"It's been a childhood dream to play professional cricket, when I received the call it was a bit out of the blue on my way back from Auckland A National Tournament," Ferns says.



If selected, Ferns says he's ready to make the step up.



"It's coming out well, I'm still working on a couple of small things, you've never got the perfect action! But I'm looking forward to playing on a wicket with a bit of pace and bounce," he says.



Despite a perceived lack of big names, the Aucklanders are confident of putting in high quality performances.



"We are obviously a young group but we have guys who have put performances on the board to help us win games in the Super Smash and in the previous Ford Trophy. They will all be looking to consolidate those and do it on a consistent basis," Nicol says.



The Aces start their Ford Trophy campaign against the Knights on Sunday at Eden Park's Outer Oval, first ball at 11:00am.



Auckland Aces

Michael Barry


Lockie Ferguson


Danru Ferns


Donovan Grobbelaar


Michael Guptill-Bunce


Shawn Hicks


Ben Horne


Tarun Nethula


Rob Nicol (c)


Glenn Phillips


Raja Sandhu


Sean Solia