NRL Nines: Young guns to watch at the Auckland Nines

Ata Hingano of the Warriors is one of many exciting young prospects set to take the field at the Auckland NRL Nines this weekend. Photo / Getty Images.
Ata Hingano of the Warriors is one of many exciting young prospects set to take the field at the Auckland NRL Nines this weekend. Photo / Getty Images.

For all the Shaun Johnson's, Jonathan Thurston's and Jarryd Hayne's that are ready to set the NRL Auckland Nines alight this weekend, there are some exciting young prospects from each NRL club that will look to stamp their authority over their peers and make a name for themselves in the first hit out of the season.

Here's a look at each club's most exciting young talent on offer at Eden Park this weekend:

BRISBANE - JAYDN SU'A

Jaydn Su'a. Photo / Getty Images.
Jaydn Su'a. Photo / Getty Images.

A former schoolboy union star, big things are expected of the hard-working back- rower after making his debut last year. The youngest forward to ever start for the Broncos.

CANBERRA - NICK COTRIC

A prodigiously talented centre in the same mould as Josh Dugan, he made last year's under-20s team of the year.

CANTERBURY - MARCELO MONTOYA

After a belter of a year in the lower grades in 2016 - including 19 tries in 18 under-20s games and six tries in seven NSW Cup games. Talked up as chance to play in the opening NRL round.

CRONULLA - KURT CAPEWELL

Kurt Capewell. Photo / Getty Images.
Kurt Capewell. Photo / Getty Images.

The back-rower played 73 minutes in the Sharks' courageous semi-final win over Canberra. Made four first grade appearances in 2016 but missed out on grand final selection.

GOLD COAST - TYRONE ROBERTS-DAVIES

Not to be confused with Titans half Tyrone Roberts. The 19-year-old outside back and Australian Schoolboys representative is said to have a similar playing style to his cousin, Brisbane speedster James Roberts.

MANLY - BRIAN KELLY

Massive opportunities stand before the former Titan. He's a red-hot chance to come into Trent Barrett's backline.

MELBOURNE - CURTIS SCOTT

Curtis Scott (right). Photo / Getty Images.
Curtis Scott (right). Photo / Getty Images.

This heavily hyped Junior Kangaroo has been elevated to the Storm first grade squad. The Cronulla junior was chased by 12 clubs.

NEWCASTLE - LUKE BATES

A hard-running prop who starred in NSW Cup last year. He was ear-marked to make first grade and should make the step up in 2017.

NORTH QUEENSLAND - GIDEON GELA-MOSBY

Starred in last year's Nines but could not crack first grade. He is potentially the fastest man in the game and holds the under-20s competition record for most tries (39) in a season.

PARRAMATTA - JAMAL FOGARTY

Jamal Fogarty in action for the Gold Coast Titans in 2012. Photo / Getty Images.
Jamal Fogarty in action for the Gold Coast Titans in 2012. Photo / Getty Images.

The Australian Schoolboys representative starred for Burleigh in last year's Queensland Cup. The playmaker was chased by several clubs and signed a two-year deal with Parramatta.

PENRITH - TYRONE MAY

The Junior Kangaroo made the under-20s team of the year at five-eighth but is versatile enough to play most positions. Played in back-to-back under-20s grand finals.

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA - JAI FIELD

A shock contender for the Dragons halfback spot. He's been told to add bulk over the pre-season but the 19-year-old speed demon will be suited to the nines.

SOUTH SYDNEY - TYRELL FUIMAONO

The Rabbitohs snuck under Parramatta's guard to snare his signature. Big enough to play second row and mobile enough to slot in at centre.

SYDNEY ROOSTERS - JOHNNY TUIVASA-SHECK

Being the younger brother of Warriors skipper Roger, you know what to expect - blinding speed and sensational footwork. At 100kg and 180cm he's already bigger than RTS and scored the winning try in last year's under-20s grand final.

WARRIORS - ATA HINGANO

Ata Hingano. Photo / Getty Images.
Ata Hingano. Photo / Getty Images.

Coach Stephen Kearney is on record as saying he will partner Shaun Johnson in the halves if Kieran Foran's contract is not approved by the NRL.

WESTS TIGERS - ESAN MARSTERS

The Junior Kiwis representative was chased by five clubs but stayed loyal to the Tigers. Was set to make his first grade debut last year until second-tier salary cap restrictions intervened.

- NZ Herald

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