North Queensland coach Paul Green is keeping his NRL Auckland Nines team list to himself at the moment but when he does release it, Kangaroos prop James Tamou is hoping his name is there.
The front-rower’s destructive running, and tremendous speed and footwork considering his giant size, looks ideally suited to the nine-a-side game and he says he’s ready for the call-up should it come next Tuesday.
Green has to name a squad of 16 that includes one of North Queensland’s five highest paid players and another 11 of the top 25 squad.
“Greeny really hasn’t given away anything (about the Nines),” Tamou said today.
“It will be interesting to see what team he goes for.
“I’m really hoping to get into that, just to be part of the cause and the fact that it’s the first Nines tournament in the NRL.
“It’s all sold out so it will be a big thing and to be a part of it would be awesome.
“I think we’ll go alright because the Nines will suit our style of play and some of our bigger boys like Jason Taumalolo can really dominate in something like that.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how we go and just the whole tournament itself.”
Tamou said the Cowboys were yet to take part in any Nines-specific training, with their sessions still concentrating on getting their structures and conditioning spot-on for the new NRL season.
Like his fellow Kangaroos representatives, the 25-year-old didn’t start pre-season training until the first week of January and hasn’t been selected for Saturday night’s opening trial against Brisbane.
If he is let loose on the shortened game, the front-rower joked that he might showcase something special to the Eden Park crowd.
“You never know what might happen. It’s nine-on-nine on a big field,” he said.
“I might do the old no-look part or chip-and-chase or something like that.”