Getty Images

Top players back new tournament

OPPONENTS of the Auckland Nines, to be held in the North Island city for the next five years, have argued the tournament adds to an already heavy player workload.

Plenty of players, on the other hand, have thrown their support behind the competition, which will be contested on February 15-16 with an expected prize pool of $A2.25 million.

Representative players including Robbie Farah, Sam Thaiday, Todd Carney, Anthony Watmough and Paul Gallen have said they would play, despite the proximity to November's World Cup.

Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson echoed the thoughts of that group, saying, "It will be a good challenge, but should be fun as well."

Clubs will be required to send 16 of their top 25 players, including at least one of their top five names.

NRL marketing boss Paul Kind said he understood not everyone was in favour of the tournament, which was launched yesterday.

"There are challenges in any pre-season scheduling, but we think we have the balance right between the success of the tournament and player welfare," he said.



BIRD OF THE WEEK: Elegant black swans and where to find them

Premium Content BIRD OF THE WEEK: Elegant black swans and where to find them

This week Allan Briggs talks about the Black Swan and where you can find them in...

MINE MILESTONE: Club takes deep dive into golden history

Premium Content MINE MILESTONE: Club takes deep dive into golden history

Members of the Bundaberg 4WD Club Inc have had the support of the mining venture...

Property boom: The suburbs reaching staggering prices

Premium Content Property boom: The suburbs reaching staggering prices

Is your suburb on the list of crazy sales?