Ruben Wiki Inspires NRL Hardman For Auckland Nines Comeback?

How good!

Ruben Wiki Inspires NRL Hardman For Auckland Nines Comeback?

Kevin Campion Photo: Getty Images

Former NRL hardman Kevin Campion has thrown his support behind retired NRL star and former team mate Ruben Wiki’s NRL Auckland Nines comeback.

It’s even got him pumped to have a go himself!

“I’m up next year 👍🏻 I'll start training now 🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺”, he joked on twitter. Or maybe it isn't a joke coz he's one player he could definitely give it a crack!

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Campion, 45, was one of the toughest footy players ever to lace up a boot - a real workhorse and tough as old boots.

He was also one of only five players to play grand finals for three different clubs including Dragons (1996), Broncos (1998, 2000) and Warriors 2001.

Campion Lays The Smackdown On Old Team Mate Shane Webcke

Kevin Campion punch-up with Shane Webcke Video: YouTube

Cult Favourite To Make Stunning Comeback At Auckland Nines

Ruben Wiki Photo: Getty Images

Former Kiwis captain Ruben Wiki will lace up the boots in next month's Nines after being asked by coach Stephen Kearney to come out of retirement.

Wiki, who will be 44 by the start of the tournament, played 87 games for the Warriors between 2005 and 2008 after a long stint at Canberra.

He currently serves as the NRL side's strength and conditioning coach.

"It's been banter for the past three years, all my mates saying I should play Nines, and then Stephen asked and the dream became reality," Wiki said.

"Some of these guys are half my age so I think it's pretty exciting for myself to be running around with these young bulls."

Wiki, who was the first Kiwi to play 300 NRL games, will need to receive clearance from the NRL before running out on to Eden Park.

But Kearney didn't anticipate any issues, saying his former Test teammate had remained in tip-top shape following his 2008 retirement.

He is yet to name the remainder of his 18-man Nines squad but is expected to pick stars such as Shaun Johnson and the returning Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

A host of young players are also likely to get a run out in the two-day competition, such as 22-year-old prop Toafofoa Sipley.

Wiki, who is of Samoan and Maori heritage, won a premiership with Canberra in 1994 and the 2005 Tri-Nations with the Kiwis in England.

Sipley, who grew up watching "The Kava King" strut his stuff for club and country, said he couldn't wait to play alongside him.

He hoped he could get a decent run in the Nines and use the event as a springboard for NRL selection in March.

"He's a legend around the club and just the way he carries himself, he's kind of a role model to us young boys," Sipley said.

Other stalwarts including Brad Fittler, Steve Menzies and Braith Anasta have all made comebacks in the pre-season tournament in previous years.

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