The NRL Nines has been taken off the calendar for the 2019 season.
It was expected to make a return next season after being put on hold for a year, but there was a feeling that the toll on players’ bodies was becoming too great following the Rugby League World Cup.
The All Stars game is set to return next year, but the league confirmed that Nines was off the agenda after a meeting with league executives earlier in the week.
The governing body is in talks with the Queensland Government about potentially moving the competition to Brisbane, but there is reportedly resistance about scheduling it so close to rugby’s Brisbane Global Tens.
The Nines ran for four years since 2014, and while teams did not want to risk losing players to injury, the $500,000 first prize always made for strong competition.
The NRL are pursuing an International Nines tournament at the end of the 2019 season, where players would represent their countries.
The founder of the NRL All Stars concept Preston Campbell was excited about its impending return.
“I understand what rugby league can do for the community,” Campbell told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“We have so many people who come from all different parts of Australia and other countries to play this great game.
“Sometimes we forget we are different, but one game brings us all together.
“For me, it’s about making people aware we all live in the same country, we all love rugby league, so why can’t we all just get along?
“Part of it is understanding we may be different, you may be different, but there are so many similarities and we need to be more positive about what connects us.”