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We can have the best players in the Nines

The Cowboys celebrate after beating the Broncos in the final. Day Two of the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday 16th February 2014. Photo: www.photosport.co.nz
Roar Guru
17th February, 2014
60

The only downside to the Auckland Nines was the fact that most sides did not field their best team.

We have just witnessed a fabulous weekend of exciting fast moving sport with some of the best athletes in the world, but the showpiece lacked the games living legends.

We did not see Michael Jennings, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Sonny Bill Williams, Josh Reynolds, Frank Pritchard, Jarryd Hayne, Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess, Jonathan Thurston, Brett Stewart, Keiran Foran, Anthony Watmough, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, Cam Smith, Daruius Boyd, Kurt Gidley, Anthony Milford, Ben Matulino or Manu Vatuvei, but we can with a simple tweak.

The Auckland Nines should take the date of the NRL grand final and put the premiership decider back one week giving both teams a two-week break.

This would allow every player from the other 14 clubs to be available and given the competition is over they have nothing to lose by playing all of the top players which would be encouraged with the enticing prize money.

The only players not on show would be from the two grand finalists, but this could be more than compensated by inviting two teams from the Super League or if they are not available, a team from the Pacific Islands and an Indigenous team.

This concept would enhance the grand final as it would give all the players an extra week to attain 100% fitness, but importantly allow the fans to see their favourite player for the last time during the season.

There is no reason to alter the current Auckland Nines schedule as the grand final day initiative could be complimentary.

There is no reason why there could not be a Sydney Nines held the week before the grand final and then also an Auckland Nines in the New Year.

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I know that sponsorship would not be a problem as I discussed the concept with a friend over the weekend and he suggested that he would love to put his business name to it.

We have just experience a breath of fresh air with the Auckland Nines, but imagine the same concept with Billy, JT, GI and SBW running teams ragged.