Handley looking forward to catching up with Hall at World Nines
Leeds Rhinos star winger Ash Handley says he is looking forward to catching up with his mentor Ryan Hall when the two pair up for England at the World Cup Nines in Sydney next week.
Handley, the Rhinos leading try scorer this season, has been called up to Wayne Bennett’s Nines squad for the Downer Rugby League World Cup 9s.
Looking ahead to the trip to Sydney and catching up with Ryan Hall, Handley said, “I’ve not seen him for ages. I caught up with him when he came back with the World Club Challenge back in February so it will be great to meet up with Hally again and play alongside him again.
“I’m really looking forward to the Nines tournament, it will be a great experience. I’ve never been to Sydney before so I’m looking forward to being out there and seeing what it’s all about,” added the 23-year-old.
England are in the same pool as Wales, France and Lebanon and will be hoping to progress through to the knock out stages for the two day tournament on 18th and 19th October at Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta on October 18-19.
The two highest-placed teams from Group A would progress to the Semi Finals, alongside the winners of Groups B and C.
The two highest placed teams from the Women’s pool, which features Australia, New Zealand, England and PNG, will feature in the women’s final.
Key rules for World 9s
- A Bonus Zone, giving teams the chance for a five-point try, will be included
- A 20-40 rule, in addition to the 40-20
- A 25-second shot clock on drop-kicked conversions
- Golden Try in the event of a match drawn after regulation time.
Handley says he is delighted to get the chance to play for his country on the back of an impressive year with the Rhinos. He added, “It’s really nice to be recognised for what you’ve done for your club and it’s a great honour to be able to be chosen to go over there and represent my country.”
England will play just once on the opening night of the World Cup Nines against Wales before the remaining Pool games the following day. If England progress and make the knock out stages it will be a big test of the squad resources with a hectic schedule.
Handley though says the format excites him and he can not wait to get started, he added, “It’ll be great. I love it. I love the concept of the game, I think it will really suit me and suit a lot of players in our team as well and I think it will be a great experience and a great competition.”