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On the eve of the inaugural Auckland Nines tournament in New Zealand, Melbourne Nines Captain Ryan Hoffman is excited to lead a young Storm side in the new format.

Melbourne's 16-man squad travelled to New Zealand on Thursday for the tournament, spending the afternoon at the junior club of brothers Jesse and Kenny Bromwich.

Speaking to Storm TV during the week, Hoffman believes the youthful outfit will provide plenty of entertainment for Storm fans over the weekend.

"I'm really excited because we do have a young team," Hoffman said.

"We've got an exciting young team, we see what these young kids can do at training with their speed and their skill.

"I'm the old man of the group, to be able to lead these guys is a fantastic honour."

Despite missing a number of the club's experienced players, Hoffman is confident the Melbourne side travelling to Auckland contains the right mix for the nine-a-side game. The 200 game forward also highlighted one Storm player he is looking forward to seeing.

"I think we are putting a very competitive team up and a team that not only wants to prove themselves to their teammates but wants to prove themselves to the coach," Hoffman said.

"I think the bloke who is suited to the Nines more than anyone is Sisa Waqa. 

"He's got that Fijian skill and Fijian flair. If you've seen Rugby Union Sevens you know how good the Fijians are."

Waqa, like Hoffman, is eager to get out on the field and play this weekend. 

"I can't wait for this week to go out there in Auckland and do my best," Waqa.

"I just want to put the purple jumper on again, I can't wait to put on that purple jumper because every time I put it on I want to make sure I work hard and play for my teammates."

Get to know the Auckland Nines. Find out all the key information and rule changes here.


Get an update from Melbourne Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi on the Auckland Nines trip here.

On Thursday, Melbourne visited the junior club of Jesse Bromwich, the Manurewa Marlins and received an extremelly warm reception with over 5,000 people in attendance. WATCH all the highlights here.

Ryan Hoffman chatted exclusively with Storm TV on the eve of the Nines tournament, sharing his excitement at leading a young side in the new format of the game. WATCH here.


Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.