23rd May 01:13 PM
Auckland loses hosting rights for nine‑a‑side tournament
By Lena Reece
Thursday 13/07/2017
Roosters captain Mitchell Aubusson and his team mates celebrate their win in the final of the Auckland Nines (Photo: Radio NZ).

Auckland has lost the hosting rights for rugby league's annual nine‑a‑side tournament.

The Australian based National Rugby League has announced the competition will be suspended next year, citing the need to ease the workload on players.

NRL chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo said with the World Cup running until early December it was not viable to ask players to return to the field for the Nines tournament in early 2018.

He said in all likelihood the Nines tournament would be held in Australia when it returned to the playing calendar, although Auckland could host it again at some stage.

Auckland has hosted the tournament for the past four years but the number of spectators has been dwindling.

Around 22,000 spectators attended this year and organisers Duco Events had previously called for the event to be moved to Australia.

Source: Radio NZ

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