The 16 NRL clubs today launched their jerseys for the 2015 Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines tournament, which kicks off next month.
For the first time, clubs will wear everything from basketball cut jerseys through to Aussie Rules-style tops for the summer event, unveiling some of the most innovative jerseys ever produced for a rugby league tournament.
The $2.4 million Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines tournament will be held on Saturday, January 31 and Sunday, February 1 at Auckland’s Eden Park next year.
Representative stars James Maloney (Roosters), Issac Luke (Rabbitohs), Brett Morris (Bulldogs), Josh Dugan (Dragons) and Matt Gillett (Broncos), joined NRL Head of Commercial Paul Kind and Dick Smith Director of Marketing Neil Merola to launch the 2015 Nines jerseys at the Dick Smith store on George Street, Sydney.
The event will also include a nine-a-side match-up between the current women's World Champions the Jillaroos against New Zealand's Kiwi Ferns.
“The success of this year’s tournament, which attracted over 90,000 fans and many star NRL players, shows that this event has the potential to be New Zealand's biggest summer event,” Mr Kind said. “It is a fantastic opportunity for fans to see all 16 clubs in the one place at Eden Park.
“This is also an opportunity to grow our game in New Zealand and for our clubs and players to share in the spectacle.”
Dugan said he was excited to again be a part of the Nines concept, which involves a two-day, nine-a-side tournament and was last year won by the North Queensland Cowboys.
“I loved the experience in last year’s Nines and I’m looking forward to being a part of the shorter format again,” Dugan said. “Everyone who was involved enjoyed being a part of the concept and it will be a great way to kick the year off.”
Mr Merola added: “The Auckland Nines tournament was huge last year, with a sell-out crowd of over 90,000 in two days, and next year’s tournament will be even bigger. Having players from all 16 NRL clubs, dressed in their Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines kits, visit our flagship Sydney store is a great way to kick things off.”
Since the NRL, in partnership with Duco Events and Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) announced that the Nines would be held at Eden Park on 31 January and 1 February, tickets for the 2015 tournament have been selling fast.
For more information and to purchase tickets to the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines, visitwww.ticketek.co.nz/nrlakl9s
Travel packages are available from Sportsnet Holidays www.sportsnetholidays.com and tickets can be purchased from Ticketek.
The 2015 NRL Auckland Nines jerseys can be purchased online at: www.nrlshop.com/teams/nrl-auckland-nines
2015 Auckland Nines Pool Draw
Rangitoto Pool: Eels, Sea Eagles, Knights, Dragons
Waiheke Pool: Storm, Cowboys, Panthers, Rabbitohs
Piha Pool: Roosters, Broncos, Bulldogs, Sharks
Hunua Ranges Pool: Tigers, Warriors, Raiders, Titans