While an exciting Panthers side goes to battle in the Auckland Nines, a second star-studded Panthers team will head to Port Moresby and tackle the might of Papua New Guinea.

In a historic encounter, the Panthers will face the PNG Hunters at National Stadium (formerly Lloyd Robson Oval) on Saturday February 6.

Over the same weekend, but 4000km away, 18 of their Panthers teammates will strive for success at the annual Nines tournament.

Panthers coach Anthony Griffin has ensured the club's talent is shared between the two squads, with both sides boasting a combination of youth and experience.

The weekend of high-intensity rugby league should leave the club in great shape for blockbuster trials at Pepper Stadium against the Bulldogs on February 13 and the Eels on February 20.

Over the next four days we will be releasing the full squad lists for both the PNG Hunters showdown and the Auckland Nines. The first players to be named are listed below…

PANTHERS v PNG HUNTERS
- Jamie Soward
- Brent Naden
- Andy Saunders
- Josh Hall
- Malakai Watene-Zelezniak
- Wellington Albert

PANTHERS at AUCKLAND NINES
- Elijah Taylor
- Te Maire Martin
- Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
- Jeremy Latimore