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walter sobchak

Auckland 9's

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In order to be eligible for the Olympics a sport need to be played by men in 75 countries and Women in 40 countries, 

 

The RLIF rankings have 33 teams and i imagine the women's game has less so lots of work needed before it's even an option

 

It's not really an option for us and I think would do us more harm than good to pursue '9s' as an Olympo-Commonwealth sport ahead of focusing on spreading 13 a side wherever possible.

 

The next 'tackle football' option for the Olympics in the long term appears to be American Football - IFAF was recognised by the IOC last week and is using a 7v7 version to get enough spread to be considered for inclusion.

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Hopefully the NRL 9's turns in to a huge money spinner and the RFL take note. I would like to see annual 9's tournaments based around both NRL and Super League with both having international teams take part as well as all clubs. Maybe the "magic" weekend could become the "Magic 9's" with cities bidding to host it each year.

NRL/Pacific 9's - 16NRL clubs + PNG, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, South Africa, NZ Maori, Aust. Aborigines.

SL/Euro 9's - 12SL clubs + France U23's, French Elite select, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, 2 European Qualifiers, Top 4 KPC clubs.

Finals - Top of each pool of 4, 6 qualifiers.

Debuting the euro version in Toulouse once Toulouse get in to SL would be great! But of course there are many other options and you would hope it would become a much sought after event for councils & stadiums all over the UK, France and perhaps in time Europe.

International teams would get first pick of a squad obviously then SL clubs pick the best squad they can from what players they have remaining.

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Rugby League Nines will never be an Olympic sport now that Rugby Sevens is in. Anyone who thinks it has a chance is kidding themselves.

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When is the World Club championship in Australia. Could Wigan take part in this on their way to or from Australia?

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Interesting that this has proved such a hit in NZ - for the last two years I have been to the union 7s on the Gold Coast which is part of the international 7s series. The crowds both years were awful. I think this year was even worse than last. Less than half full - and the ground only holds about 25,000.

It's a really fun event though - very much a party/festival occasion, with notably a very large and colourful contingent of Fijians and Kenyans.

I'm sure an international RL 9s could be a success if done correctly, maybe not in terms of getting large numbers to watch, but in giving an outlet for the minnow countries to develop their skills and participation.

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