National Rugby League Auckland Nines Sets Jan. 31, Feb. 1 As Dates For 2015 Tournament
The second National Rugby League Auckland Nines tournament will be held on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, according to Steve Deane of the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. The two-day format "featuring all 16 NRL clubs" has been retained. The "only major change sees squad sizes increased from 16 to 18 players to reduce the demand on players." A prize pool of more than NZ$2.6M ($2.2M) will "again be up for grabs." The inaugural tournament this year, "won by the North Queensland Cowboys, was played in front of a crowd of nearly 90,000 over the two days." A post-event independent evaluation of the '14 event found that this year's tournament "expanded Auckland's GDP" by NZ$9.35M, of which NZ$3.24M came into the New Zealand economy from offshore (NZ HERALD, 8/5).