THE Downer World Cup Nines is a concept made for Daryl Clark.

Those are the thoughts of Warrington Wolves teammate Jack Hughes as England prepare for the inaugural tournament at Sydney’s Bankwest Stadium this weekend.

Clark, along with current Wire teammate Blake Austin and future colleague Gareth Widdop, will be part of the team that will aim to reach Saturday morning’s final.

> Austin looking forward to playing on home turf

Forced into a watching brief due to a groin injury, Hughes will look on from the sidelines along with the rest of the Great Britain squad, which also includes Chris Hill and Joe Philbin as well as Clark, Austin and Widdop, after they arrive Down Under for their tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

He is looking forward to watching the hooker, who picked up three prizes at The Wire’s awards evening on Tuesday, wreak havoc.

> Clark dominates Wire's end-of-season awards

“It’s open field, a few less defenders out there, it’s made for people like Daryl,” he said.

“He’s got a lethal left foot that we’re looking forward to seeing.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing some really fast and quality players with some space around them.”

Like much of the England team, Clark has little experience of Nines at the highest level.

There has not been a Nines competition in English rugby league since the short-lived Carnegie Floodlit Nines in 2008 and 2009 but the NRL held a pre-season tournament between 2014 and 2017.

With that in mind, Australia and New Zealand are expected to be strong.

“I’ve played a bit of Nines when I was coming through the system at Castleford, when I was in the reserves and academy,” he said.

“We had a little tournament then and I played a few games before moving to the first team.

“Apart from that I’ve not really played it much.

“I’m looking forward to it. It’s something different, I’ve never been involved in anything like that before, so a couple of new experiences.

“I think they’ll (Australia and New Zealand) have an advantage, with being involved in how it works before. They’ll have had more time and games to work out a decent strategy.

“But I’m sure it won’t take us long to pick up and see what other teams are doing. I think we’ll be alright, we’ll be able to pick it up on the run.

“And our coach (Wayne Bennett) has been involved in it before and seen a lot of it and so I’m pretty sure we’ll get up to speed pretty quickly.”

Following the conclusion of the Nines, Clark, Austin and Widdop will join Wire cohorts Hughes, Chris Hill and Joe Philbin in the Great Britain party for their four-Test tour.

> Philbin among Wire players selected for GB tour

Incoming signing Anthony Gelling will also be involved at Bankwest Stadium as he is part of the Cook Islands squad – they take on Tonga, Fiji and Samoa in Pool C.

A women’s tournament – featuring England’s Warrington-born pair Emily Rudge and Jodie Cunningham – will run alongside the men’s event.

England Downer World Cup Nines fixtures (all kick offs UK time):

Friday: Women vs Papua New Guinea (8.45am), Men vs Wales (9.10am)

Saturday: Men vs Lebanon (2.20am), Women vs Australia (4.35am), Men vs France (5.25am), Women vs New Zealand (8.05am), Men’s semi finals (8.55am and 9.20am), Women’s final (9.45am), Men’s final (11am)