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NRL 9s close to being locked in

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Kiwi Eagle, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +3,872 /65
    League Nines on the way
    By Michael Burgess
    5:30 AM Sunday Jul 28, 2013

    Get ready Auckland - League Nines is coming to a stadium near you.

    The multi-million dollar Auckland League Nines tournament - which will feature all 16 NRL clubs and some of the sport's biggest stars - is set to be signed off by the NRL within the next week.

    The event, which carries an estimated prizemoney of $3 million (including about $600,000 for the winners), is earmarked for the weekend of February 15 and 16 next year.

    It will be the richest event on these shores in 2014 in terms of prizemoney and across the two days is expected to draw crowds at a similar, or perhaps larger level than the Wellington Sevens (70,000).

    Ateed (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) sees it as a potential showpiece event for the city that will draw vast visitor numbers from New Zealand and Australia. They also hope, like the Sevens, it becomes an annual spectacle synonymous with the city.

    The Herald on Sunday understands that one of the final hurdles was getting buy-in from the players, particularly the marquee names, but this has now been achieved. The NRL clubs have agreed that their teams will contain a certain percentage of the first-grade squad.

    This may be slightly complicated by the Rugby League World Cup in November, where up to 100 NRL players could be involved. Players are entitled to a six-week break after the completion of the tournament (the final is on November 30) which will compress the NRL pre-season next year.

    However, there is an expectation that many of the big names will still be involved. A likely scenario could see the Storm send Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk for example, but allow Cameron Smith and Ryan Hoffman to continue their training at home.

    Unlike the Wellington Sevens, where a vast majority of the players are virtual unknowns and most of those attending only periodically watching the on-field action, many of the participants in the Auckland Nines will be household names. Given that, and the popularity of many NRL clubs on these shores, the event organisers are confident that the tournament will be a success.

    It is also hoped that the tournament will provide a significant boost to the sport in this country, given many NRL clubs draw a significant amount of their talent from New Zealand. In the long-term the NRL believe that the nines format could also be used to develop the game. Like sevens, nines would offer lower barriers to entry and enable emerging nations to become relatively competitive at a quicker rate.

    It is believed each club will receive a minimum of A$70,000 ($80,000) for competing while the winner's purse will be more than the NRL winners currently receive. The playing rules have yet to be finalised, but games are likely to be 18 minutes long.

    Between 1988-1997 (with a brief revival in 2003-04) the Rugby League International Sevens was the traditional opener to the NRL season. It featured NRL teams, some English clubs and international sides and a hot-stepping Benji Marshall starred in the 2003 tournament, making his first mark on the league world.

    With the the popularity of Twenty20 cricket among other short form sports, the NRL are confident there is an increased appetite for nines in this era.
    • Like Like x 2
    • manlyfan76

      manlyfan76 Parra Trolls are the best. Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +8,043 /174
      $600,000 for first place and 2.4million for runners up? $1 million first prize sounds a lot better!
    • MK Eagle

      MK Eagle Well-Known Member

      +247 /0
      Awesome - used to love the 7's & though its 9's should be end to end entertainment. Hope the teams all have decent squads, dont mind some speedy youngsters getting a run but some big names would be sweet.
    • Clint

      Clint . Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +2,173 /34
      Wow this is amazing. Just goes to show how much the clubs and players are being bent over by the NRL when it comes to prize money.

      Hope this will also mean the end of meaningless trial games.
    • Kiwi Eagle

      Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +3,872 /65
      Winners prize more than NRL winners should make it attractive for clubs to send a serious team, and great for sides that have been starved of any sort of silverware for a while as well

      Have an old video somewhere of Manly winning the 1994 7s with a side containing the likes of Lyons, Ridge, Toovey, Hill, Moore, Elsegood, Hopoate etc, and destroyed Saints in the final. Must have watched that vid hundreds of times growing up lol

      Just thinking about what we would put on the park

      Something like Brett, Taufua, Foran, DCE, Lawrence, Horo, Watmough, Hiku and Gutherson could be interesting. May not risk Brett in it but he would be great to watch
      The man behind it is Dean Lonergan who some of you may remember, he is an extremely smart operator who runs a lot of big events over here, mainly in the boxing so far but he will put on a good show with this
    • Clint

      Clint . Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +2,173 /34
      As you touched on Kiwi.
      With prize money being as reported, why wouldn't you field a full strength team?
      Still reinforces my point of the disparity in $$$ distribution at NRL level.
    • Stevo

      Stevo Well-Known Member

      +1,401 /56
      1. Brett Stewart
      2. Jorge Taufua
      3. Jamie Lyon
      4. Steve Matai
      5. Peta Hiku
      6. Kieran Foran
      7. Daly Cherry - Evans
      8. Anthony Watmough
      9. Brenton Lawrence

      10. Jamie Buhrer
      11. Justin Horo
      12. Tom Symomds
      13. Someone else
    • the mauler

      the mauler Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +1,886 /30
      You've got to add Gutherson to that squad. Has speed to burn.
    • Jatz Crackers

      Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

      +1,475 /8
      $500k-$600k (winners cheq) in the bank right there.
    • KaZa

      KaZa Well-Known Member

      +327 /22
      our weak link is our forwards generally. Not in the 9's!
    • eaglebuzz

      eaglebuzz Well-Known Member

      +2,113 /118
      I'll be very surprised if many of our regular first graders take part, it's just one more thing fans will be complaining about if any big stars get season-ending injuries
    • Peter C

      Peter C Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +1,207 /26
      I'd be happier if they drop the trial games, forget anything about the Nines, and play two full home and away rounds.
      • Like Like x 4
      • eagles2win

        eagles2win Well-Known Member

        +494 /0
        If they must persist with stand alone trials make it like the Amco Cup.
        That way the NRL can take games to the bush, clubs can blood young players
      • Brissie Kid

        Brissie Kid Well-Known Member

        +1,176 /19
        World Cup players are allowed to not play in the pre season 9s next year. Some will also go to the All Stars game.

        The 9s tournament is a great idea but it will be 2nd rate teams most NRL clubs put out. A shame but it will kill the tournament off sooner or later.
      • Jatz Crackers

        Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

        +1,475 /8
        "not allowed" ?
      • CAMBO

        CAMBO Well-Known Member

        +363 /0
        Leave Brett out too important to our hopes to play in a nines comp.

        Would u have gift in there.
      • Berkeley_Eagle

        Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

        +2,125 /14
        CHIEF executives from all 16 NRL clubs will converge in Sydney on Monday to decide on a major overhaul of the 2014 pre-season, which could include the scrapping of the annual NRL and Indigenous All Stars concept and the introduction of a Super Nines tournament in New Zealand.
        This year's World Cup, which will feature the game's elite, is placing pressure on the All Stars match which will be played just over two months after the World Cup final on November 30.
        The serious concern for player burnout following the World Cup features heavily throughout a 14-page document sent to all 16 clubs, which The Sunday Telegraph has obtained ahead of Monday's CEO conference at League Central.
        The document explains how the NRL has agreed with the players association to undertake research into the possible impact of the World Cup on the 2014 pre-season "with a focus on the All Stars match".
        The Sunday Telegraph has been told that the NRL will discuss three options surrounding the All Stars with all 16 CEO's Monday including:
        * Postponing the 2014 All Stars for one year;
        * Gaining a commitment to the All Stars from the game's best players, including Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith and Greg Inglis;
        * Sacrificing the credibility of the concept by keeping the All Stars concept, but without the game's best players involved.
        The CEO conference will almost certainly see all 16 clubs show a vote of confidence in the lucrative Nines tournament, which will see the winner pocket $2.2 million - more than what the NRL premiers receive.
        Former Test forward Gorden Tallis, who in 2008 was named in an Indigenous Australian rugby league team of the century, said any decision to rest the All Stars match should be made for the right reasons.
        "The All Stars has made some wonderful traction," Tallis said. "It's shown that it is bigger than race. It's a celebration of the game.
        "The work the players do with the NRL and the Earn, Learn, Legend programs during the All Stars week has a greater impact on society than any other game that is played.
        "It's a game I would have loved to have played in. Has it run its race? I don't think so."
        THE NINES
        ONCE approved, the Auckland Nines will be held on February 15 and 16 at Eden Park, the home of rugby union in New Zealand. Make no mistake, the decision to stage the Nines at Eden Park is a deliberate and direct attack on rugby union's hugely popular Wellington Sevens held the weekend prior.
        The Nines will allow rugby league to eat into the pie that rugby union has enjoyed for more than a decade with the Sevens. South Sydney chief executive Shane Richardson is right when he suggests that if the NRL was to reject the Nines proposal, "We'd be only handing over an advantage to another code."
        Under the tournament structure, every NRL club will be randomly divided into four pools. Matches will be played in nine-minute halves. Teams will play two matches on February 15, with the next day featuring a final pool game, followed by the knock-out finals. Teams that compete in the final will play a total of six matches.
        THE sheer logistics of transporting and accommodating16 professional NRL teams, 28 individuals (16 players and 12 staff) for up to four nights in another country is like nothing the game has confronted in its 108-year history.
        The six-figure cost of 28 return economy airfares to Auckland, 15 rooms (13 twin share and two single rooms), including all meals at either the hotel or Eden Park, all transport transfers, use of training fields, gym facilities, pool and recovery facilities will be covered by Lonergan and his company.
        There will even be a player's lounge, complete with Playstation, table tennis, pool tables and coffee bar.
        TO compete in the Nine's, every club must follow a strict set of requirements when it comes to fielding a team and being eligible for the rich purse.
        All 16 players selected in the Nine's squad must participate in a match during the tournament. At least 75 per cent of every Nine's squad (12 players) must be made up of players from the club's 'top 25 squad list' (based on the salary cap for 2014).
        At least one player from each club's top five list (based on the salary cap for 2014) must also be included in the Nine's squad.
        There will also be an expectation on every player to commit to promotional activity during the tournament.
        THE RISKS
        RARELY does a week pass in rugby league that player behaviour doesn't rear its ugly head. So imagine the concern for the NRL in February when a gathering of around 260 NRL and Holden Cup players converge for up to four nights in the one city, just prior to the beginning of the 2014 season.
        Some would call it a recipe for disaster.
        In a bid to combat the threat of a scandal overshadowing the tournament, the NRL has negotiated to have all teams stay at different hotels in Auckland.
        Every player will also have to sign a code of conduct before competing in the event.
        The inclusion of the Nines into the pre-season calendar also raises concerns over player workload and the perception the season is increased.
        However, with consultation of the rugby league player welfare association (RLPA), the NRL has agreed that the Nine's will replace one weekend of official trials. The fact that only one top-five player will be asked to participate will also negate the amount of World Cup and Origin players actually being involved.
        THE list is long. Aside from every club receiving an all-expenses paid pre-season training camp, the Nines will undoubtedly increase awareness and exposure of rugby league in New Zealand. It will allow the game to grow its fan base and increase participation levels. And it's a win-win for clubs who rely more than ever on driving up their club merchandise and membership numbers.
      • eagles2win

        eagles2win Well-Known Member

        +494 /0
        The Allstars to me has to have the Indigenous win every time or it will die.
        Been to all of them and have never seen a stadium clear out when it was evident that the NRL Allstars where winning (15 min from FT)
      • Jono

        Jono Well-Known Member

        +176 /5
        You can make this even bigger than just the 16 teams. Make it 32 and invite the poms over, international teams and Barbarian/Indigenous All Stars teams. It would be awesome. This was how the Sevens was, and I loved it.
        • Like Like x 1
        • HappilyManly

          HappilyManly MWTS Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

          +19,027 /367
          What do the Players get?
          The financial benefit is basically for TV and for the winning Club, all the others just take on the risk for negative return.:dodgy:

          There should be Insurance cover for Clubs that end up losing players from the regular season, but still have to pay their salaries.:idea:

          Family and work/study commitments do not seem to be included on the Agenda either.:dodgy:

          Many Players have young children who will be left behind in Oz for 'The Good of The Game':dodgy:

          Seems that the humanity of the Players is lost in the machinery of milking every cent out of them by TV:cool:

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