Perth’s HBF Park will play host to the returning NRL Nines format with the shortened games to take over another weekend next year.
On February 14 and 15, men’s and women’s rugby league will be contested under NRL Nines rules with the 16 NRL clubs split into four pools of four teams, while four NRLW teams will compete in a round robin of their own.
The format commenced in 2014 as Auckland 9s but following feedback about managing player workloads around international competitions that also took place in the off-season, it was temporarily shelved.
NRL head of elite football Graham Annesley spoke to NRL.com.au Tuesday about the reintroduction of the competition.
“Nines is the fastest form of our game. It shows the speed, agility and attacking prowess of our most exciting players,” Annesley said.
Annesley also alluded to the choice of venue in Perth, with the State of Origin fixture at Optus Stadium earlier this year as well as the summer climate in Western Australia playing key roles in the decision.
“The sell-out crowd in Perth for State of Origin highlighted how much interest West Australians have in rugby league and we are committed to growing the game here,” he said.
“There are few better destinations than summer in Perth and we want this event to be a summer vibes festival. We’re looking forward to seeing a stadium of colour to kick off our 2020 season.”