Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines club programme returns
Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines club programme returns for 2016
Sixteen rugby league clubs across the Auckland region have been chosen to take part in the 2016 Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines club programme.
Cronulla Sharks five-eighth Ben Barba is in Auckland for the announcement of the participating clubs today at Mangere East Rugby League Club.
The grassroots initiative gives thousands of local rugby league club fans and their families a chance to take part in skills and meet and greet sessions when each of the 16 NRL teams participating in the NRL Auckland Nines tournament in February visit a local club around the Auckland region.
Mayor Len Brown has welcomed the return of the club programme: “Fans and local club members are the passionate heart of rugby league. The Nines is unique for having all the NRL teams together and it is great to see the teams getting out to Auckland clubs on their home turf.”
The local clubs will each host a visit from an NRL team on Thursday 4 February, in the lead-up to the Waitangi weekend tournament. The 16 chosen clubs will also receive a $2000 equipment package.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) Chief Executive, Brett O’Riley says the club programme is an important part of the wider benefits the Nines bring to Auckland.
“Auckland hosting the Nines helps boost the profile and development of rugby league in Auckland and New Zealand. The club programme takes the stars of the game out into our communities and lets the next generation of players meet their heroes. Auckland clubs taking part in the 2014 club programme signed-up hundreds of new players in a solid example of how hosting this event helps grow the game.”
Tasha Tasmania, chair of the Mangere East Hawks says the club’s 2014 visit from the Penrith Panthers was a huge hit not just for the club, but for the Mangere community as well.
“Club membership for players new to rugby league skyrocketed up by 30 per cent, we gained new sponsors, our club was greatly promoted through advertising and the local community engagement and involvement we received for this one day. To host another NRL visit in 2016 is an honour for Mangere East Hawks club and opportunity for us to build on our successes from 2014. It’s also a chance for our Mangere community to once again meet leaders of the game of rugby league.”
Duco Events Chief Executive Martin Snedden says: “The NRL Auckland Nines club programme is a great opportunity to give back to the game at grassroots level, and experience the great atmosphere throughout Auckland in the build-up to this incomparable weekend.”
Hibiscus Coast Raiders
North Queensland Cowboys
New Lynn Stags
Pt Chevalier Pirates
Waitemata Seagulls (Ranui)
Bay Roskill Vikings
Mangere East Hawks
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Gold Coast Titans
Manly Sea Eagles
Papakura Sea Eagles
St George-Illawarra Dragons*
* The St George-Illawarra Dragons’ visit to the Papakura Sea Eagles is on Friday 5 February. All other visits are on Thursday 4 February.
The club programme is run by ATEED in conjunction with the NRL, NZ Rugby League and Duco Events.
The Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines takes place on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 February 2016. This is the only rugby league event where fans can see all 16 NRL clubs over one weekend, featuring more than 288 star players in 31 action-packed games. Tickets start from $69* and kids are half-price in most ticket categories**. For more information about the tournament, go to http://nrlaucklandnines.com/.
Service/delivery/venue fees may apply
** (excludes green category)
The rugby league equipment pack each club will receive includes a field marker set; whistles and lanyards; drink bottles; bottle carriers; mouth-guards; mini-goals; and hand-held megaphones.