The Nines were held in Auckland for four years from 2014, although the fixture was taken off the schedule due to player workload concerns revolving around the last Rugby League World Cup. There were fears the concept would not be revived, but fans will soon get to experience two Nines tournaments in the space of four months. The Rugby League International World Cup of Nines will be held at Bankwest Stadium in October, featuring 12 men’s teams and three women’s. Kangaroos coach has vowed to pick the strongest possible side, earmarking Latrell Mitchell, Kalyn Ponga, James Tedesco, Damien Cook and Blake Ferguson as possible selections.
Those same players could again feature in the abbreviated version of the game in February if the prizemoney is high enough for the clubs to risk their top talent.
The Nines kicked off in Auckland five years ago and initially attracted large crowds before interest began to dwindle. The initial tournaments were staged by promoter Duco Events, but the NRL will take control of the Nines for the move to Perth. The Roosters are the carryover champions after beating the Panthers in the grand final in 2017.
The NRL has displayed a willingness to showcase marquee games in new markets. At least one State of Origin match per year is taken out of the heartland states of NSW and Queensland, while Brisbane was chosen as the location for the inaugural Magic Round.