The Auckland Nines, a two-day rugby league extravaganza will be contested by the NRL’s 16
teams as they compete for the inaugural title and a share of a record
New Zealand and Australasian sport’s purse of A$2.25 million.
Here is all the reaction to the news from the Rugby League community.
DAVE SMITH – CEO NRL
“This is a fantastic opportunity to grow our game and for our clubs
and players to share in a significant new investment in Rugby League.
is an exciting format that will attract new fans and television
audiences and it provides a stage for rising stars to emerge and
showcase their skills alongside the biggest names in our game.
want to thank the Auckland City Council and ATEED, and tournament
promoter Duco, for their support in the creation of the Nines, which
will become a celebrated feature of the NRL’s pre-season for years to
TODD GREENBERG - NRL Head of Football
“Make no mistake; the 16 teams will be there to win.
have already started making their plans for camps and trials in New
Zealand to make sure they have the best possible build-up to the Nines.
“It’s a unique style of play and it will really showcase the skills of our players.
is certainly a lucrative prize on offer for the winner and once the
teams take the field everyone will see just how determined they will be
to perform well and win the inaugural Nines crown.”
PAUL WHITE – CEO BRISBANE BRONCOS
“We’re excited about the Bronco’s participation in the NRL Auckland Nines and we’re coming over there to win it.”
GRANT MAYER – CEO Wests Tigers
“We are bringing our best team to the NRL Auckland Nines. We are coming to win it.”
DAVID PERRY – GENERAL MANAGER MANLY SEA EAGLES
new and exciting concept will be an innovative and fresh new way to
launch a Rugby League year and into an important market for the game.
We’re looking forward to our members, fans and corporates embracing
this right across the code”
MATT PHELAN – INTERIM CEO PARRAMATTA EELS
“The Auckland Nines are an exciting addition to the rugby league
calendar and one that we as a club are embracing. If it is a form of
the game that has the potential to attract a new group of fans, that
can only be positive for the game.”
WAYNE SCURRAH – CEO VODAFONE WARRIORS
“We’re thrilled about having the NRL Auckland Nines at Eden
Park and we’re excited about being able to throw our total support
behind what will be the biggest rugby league event ever staged in this
“This is a fantastic opportunity not just for Eden Park and Auckland
but for the whole country. Having all 16 clubs and hundreds of the
game’s players here at the one time is a first for the NRL and will be a
tremendous way to build up to the 2014 NRL season.
“As a club
host, the Vodafone Warriors are committed to doing all we can to ensure
the Nines are a huge success and we’d encourage our members and
sporting fans to get on board by being there on February 15 and 16.”
RAELENE CASTLE - CEO Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
“We’re really looking forward to the NRL Auckland Nines and as
a Kiwi I’m really looking forward to showing our fans some fantastic
DON FURNER – CEO CANBERRA RAIDERS
“The Raiders are planning on sending a strong team to Auckland and
we’re looking forward to some exciting rugby league over the
MATTHEW ELLIOTT – Vodafone Warriors Coach
“This is a brilliant way to kick-start the new season.
It’s a tremendous opportunity for the game to sell itself to a
different market as well as appealing to all the people who already
love our game. I can’t think of a better way to spend two days than
being there to take in the action on February 15 and 16.
As for how the Vodafone Warriors approach it, we’ll be trying to win
it, especially in front of our own members and supporters in our own
home town. We’ve certainly got plenty of players well-equipped to excel
in Nines and I can promise we’ll be using the strongest squad
available at the time.”
WAYNE BENNETT – Newcastle Knights coach
“The NRL Auckland Nines is going to be a great celebration of rugby league and the Knights can’t wait to be a part of that.”
JOHN CARTWRIGHT – Gold Coast Titians coach
forward to the NRL Auckland Nines. We’re bringing down our best team
and we’re coming down there to win it. I reckon it is going to be
MAL MENINGA – Queensland Origin coach
going to be huge – 100,000 people over two days at Eden Park. It will
be sensational. The Nines will be our advertisement for rugby league
around the world.”
LAURIE DALEY – New South Wales Origin coach
lot of players who take part will be some of the best players in the
NRL but also some of the exciting young talent coming through our
system. It will be a wonderful spectacle and hopefully everyone in New
Zealand gets along to support it because they’ll see some great
SAM THAIDAY – Brisbane Broncos skipper
am absolutely looking forward to playing the NRL Auckland Nines. It’s a
fantastic concept, a fantastic competition – a chance to play in front
of 100,000 fans over two days, what an experience. And what a great
opportunity to try and win the first one.”
ROBBIE FARAH – West Tigers skipper
“The NRL Auckland Nines – I’m coming and us Tigers want to win it.”
PAUL GALLEN – Cronulla Sharks skipper
“I can’t wait to play in the NRL Auckland Nines in front of 100,000 people over two days.”
WILLIE MASON – Newcastle Knights player
“The Newcastle Knights are coming to win the NRL Auckland Nines.”
ANTHONY WATMOUGH – Manly Sea Eagles player
“At Manly, we are looking to win. We are going to bringour best side and I can’t wait to play.”
GREG BIRD – Gold Coast Titans player
100,000 people, over one weekend – it’s going to be action packed,
it’s going to be fast and there’s going to be a little bit of extra
space so hopefully we can get the speed men into the game and have a
bit of fun. I will definitely be playing in the NRL Auckland Nines –
see you there.”
TODD CARNEY – Cronulla Sharks player
“I’m really looking forward to the NRL Auckland Nines. I can’t wait to play and we’re bringing our best.”
DAVID KENNEDY – CEO, Eden Park Trust
“The NRL Nines will be a fantastic event not just for rugby league and Eden Park, but also for Auckland as whole.
atmosphere inside Eden Park will be second to none. Following the
redevelopment of the ground, Eden Park is in a position where it can
offer the best facilities for the competing teams and for the fans.
concourse will allow people to move around with ease during the day
and utilise our 50 food and beverage outlets. And with 350 television
monitors around the ground and our two 110 square-metre screens in
operation it will near-impossible to miss any of the action.
are excited to be hosting the inaugural NRL Nines. I have great
admiration for the team at Duco Events. What they have pulled off in
bringing multiple parties together to make this event happening is
incredible. They deserve the spotlight today.”
RACHAEL CARROLL – General Manager Destination and Marketing, ATEED
Nines concept stacks up to Auckland’s Major Events Strategy’s criteria
for creating an anchor event for Auckland that generates significant
international exposure, economic impact and visitation.
Auckland Nines is the only event of its kind in New Zealand, bringing
stars of all 16 NRL clubs to Auckland for two days. This is
unprecedented - never before in the game's history has all 16 NRL teams
played in one tournament, in one place for one weekend.
tournament will become an economic anchor over time and bring legacy
benefits to Auckland and New Zealand by way of rugby league
- Engagement with youth
- Growing the sport through participation and high performance
- Better engagement with the sport and a commitment to work with
the NRL and NZRL to attract more major rugby league events to Auckland
“The NRL Auckland Nines is one of a series of events that
contributes towards Auckland’s goal to be the world’s most liveable
“Hosting the NRL Auckland Nines will go a long way to
enhancing the profile of rugby league in New Zealand and will leave
lasting legacies in Auckland.”
WHAT THEY SAID