Parramatta Eels skipper and five-eighth Corey Norman is ready to hit the field running tomorrow, when the Blue & Gold return to Eden Park for the 2017 Downer NRL Auckland Nines.
Norman was named the 2016 Auckland Nines player of the tournament and the skipper was excited about returning to the football field.
“I am excited, it has been a few months [the pre-season] so it will be good to be back out there. The Auckland Nines are always a bit of fun.” Norman said.
“There is plenty of exciting football out there, and the best thing is you can take a run, take a tackle and get off, so that’s what I like about the Nines!” he joked.
Norman captained the Blue & Gold in their 2016 campaign, and was looking forward to the honour of leading out his fellow teammates again this weekend.
And he provided a bit of an insight into his captaining style, making sure the team was focused on themselves this weekend, rather than their opposition.
“I love it, coming over here and captaining the boys. It is a big honour and something I am looking forward to on the weekend.” Norman said.
“I haven’t really looked at the other teams to be honest. It is a bit of fun weekend, and you can’t look into it to much, you just got to have fun.” He added.
“It’s awesome to see Ruben Wiki coming back, I have never played against him so I will this weekend and I am looking forward to it.”
In 2016, Blue & Gold outside backs and try-scoring machines Bevan French and Semi Radradra were also named in the Team of the Tournament.
Norman predicts another strong showing from the two, along with fellow outside back Honeti Tuha.
“Bevan French and Semi Radradra you should keep an eye on, but, Honeti Tuha, he has really good feet at training and I can’t wait to see him in open space.”
“Hopefully I can cross over for a few!” Norman added.
“Nathan Brown tells us how he used to be a five-eighth back in the day and he has some silky skills so it will be good to get him out there and see how he goes.’
The 2017 Downer NRL Auckland Nines kicks off on Saturday 4 February. Click here to see the Eels draw and timings of their matches.