Ruben Wiki to play Auckland Nines

What's Fresh 19/01/2017

Former Rugby League hard man Ruben Wiki will come out of retirement and don the Warriors shirt for next month's Auckland Nines.

Wiki retired back in 2009 after playing 227 games for Canberra and 87 games for the Warriors between 1993 and 2009.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney is yet to name his squad for the tournament but confirmed Wiki will be a part of the team.

The 43-year-old said he's been very keen to play the two day event for some time and may have dropped a hint or two along the way.

"It was a huge buzz when Mooks (Kearney) asked me," said Wiki.

"I might have dropped the hint in the past that I’d like to have a go, especially when guys like Brad Fittler and Steve Menzies were picked, but I didn’t think it would happen."

He also said there was some excitement as well as some butterflies about the tournament which kicks off on 4 February.

"I’ve got some work to do getting ready for contact again but I’m looking forward to it. While I’m a bit nervous about it, the thought of pulling on a Vodafone Warriors jersey again is cool. I’m so honoured and excited.

"I’ve never played on Eden Park either so now I have the chance to run out there in front of my family and thousands of fans. That’s unreal."

Kearney, who the forward played most of his 55 Tests for the Kiwis with, said Wiki could barely contain his excitement when he was asked to play.

"Rubes didn’t need much convincing. Put it this way, we certainly didn’t have to ask him twice," he said.

"We told all the players this morning and they couldn’t have been more excited.

"While Ruben finished playing quite a few years ago, he has always prided himself in staying in fantastic condition and he’s absolutely jumping out of his skin for this."

Wiki currently works with Kearney behind the scenes as the Auckland-based club's strength and conditioning coach.