The Auckland Nines kick-off on Saturday with all 16 NRL clubs travelling to New Zealand to take part in the rugby league extravaganza. Get up to speed with the competition and learn all you need to know about the innovative tournament in our complete guide.
How does the tournament work?
All 16 NRL clubs will compete in the two-day, nine-a-side tournament with over $2 million dollars prize money up for grabs. Each side will play a minimum of three matches, with the top two sides of each group progressing into the knockout stage of the tournament.
Where will it be played?
The NRL Nines tournament will be held at Eden Park in Auckland across Saturday 31 January and Sunday 1 February.
Who do Melbourne Storm play?
Melbourne Storm have been drawn in the Waiheke pool for the tournament alongside Penrith, South Sydney and last year's champions, the Cowboys.
Saturday, January 31, Storm v Cowboys – 11:20am (Melbourne time)
Saturday, January 31, Storm v Panthers – 3:15pm (Melbourne time)
Sunday, February 1, Storm v Rabbitohs – 10:00am (Melbourne time)
Can I watch the Auckland Nines on TV?
Yes, the Auckland Nines tournament will be broadcast LIVE and exclusive across Australia on Fox Sports, Channel 501.
Which Storm players will be playing in the Nines?
1. Young Tonumaipea, 2. Kenny Bromwich, 3. Will Chambers (Captain), 4. Kurt Mann, 5. Richie Kennar, 6. Dayne Weston, 7. Cameron Munster, 8. Hymel Hunt, 9. Tohu Harris, 10. Marika Koroibete, 11. Travis Robinson, 12. Christian Welch, 13. Ben Hampton, 14. Billy Brittain, 15. Francis Tualau, 16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 17. Suliasi Vunivalu, 18. Shaun Nona
What are the rules for the Nines tournament?
Each match shall consist of two equal halves of nine minutes.
A total of five interchange players may be used on an unlimited interchange basis throughout the match.
All scrums shall be formed with a maximum of five players from each team (three players in the front row and two in the second row).
A try shall count for four points except for those tries scored in a defined area known as the ‘Bonus Zone’ which will be worth five points.
All try conversions shall be taken by way of dropkick in line with where the try was scored and will count for two points. Scoring teams will have up to 25 seconds to complete a conversion after a try.
All penalty kicks at goal shall be taken by way of a drop kick from the point at which the penalty is awarded and will be worth two points.
A field goal in general play shall be awarded as one point.
All kick offs to re-start play, other than for the start of each half, shall be taken by way of drop-kick.
Tackle Count - Five tackles
A team in possession of the football shall be allowed four successive play the balls.
Win: 2 points
Draw: 1 point
Loss: 0 points
Extra Time - Golden Try
If scores are level at the completion of a qualifying match, five minutes of 'Extra Time - Golden Try' will be played. The winner of the match shall be determined to be the team which scores the first try in this period of play. If no one scores, the match will be deemed a draw.
For all Finals’ matches (Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Final), the match will continue until a try is scored.