Auckland Nines shelved for 2018

By , Warren Barnsley is a Roar Guru

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    The NRL has suspended the Auckland Nines for 2018 but insists the pre-season tournament has a future beyond next year.

    The league has blamed a packed rugby league schedule due to this year’s World Cup, which runs to December 2.

    The event has endured the same fate as the All Stars fixture, which also won’t be held again before 2019.

    The NRL also confirmed it is seeking expressions of interest to hold the Nines – which has been played at Eden Park since its inception in 2014 – elsewhere.

    The event in New Zealand’s biggest city has been under a cloud after a drop in this year’s ticket sales, with around 22,000 spectators attending compared to sell-outs in previous years.

    Organisers Duco Events have previously called for the event to be moved to Australia and the NRL said there is every chance that will happen.

    But a return to New Zealand also remained on the table for future editions, NRL chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo said.

    © AAP 2017

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