Auckland Nines and World Club Challenge dates set

The NRL have announced that the Auckland Nines will again open their pre-season in 2014, but will be played over an extra day in an attempt to prevent injuries.

At a meeting of club chief executives earlier today, a plan was revealed to play the exciting club tournament over the weekend of Friday January 30. Reports also suggest that the All Stars match – an annual clash between the best indigenous players in the league and the best of the rest, which was missed out this year to give players more time to recover from the World Cup – will return again on February 7.

The World Club Challenge is expected to be played the week after on English soil. It is unclear, however, what form this will take as plans for an expanded version of the annual clash were discussed. In the proposal, the top three teams from both the NRL and Super League would battle it out, with the third-ranked sides playing on the Friday, the second-ranked sides on the Saturday, and the table toppers on the Sunday.

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