NRL Nines spark league interest from overseas
A consortium of cashed-up businessmen is reportedly sounding out the prospect of a rugby league Nines tournament in the United Arab Emirates.
Millionaire Marwan Koukash, owner of English Super League club Salford, is said to be spearheading the group eager to expand the nine-a-side game following the success of last weekend's event in Auckland.
According to Rugby League Week magazine, Koukash has been inspired by the popularity of cricket's Twenty20 competitions around the world.
"I know they might have tried a Nines competition before but bring it back with razzamatazz and make it attractive for another broadcaster to come in and bring in some more money," he is quoted as saying.
"Look at Twenty20. The traditionalists would've gone mad at the thought of it, but look how popular it is now."
North Queensland won the NRL's inaugural two-day event in front of a sold-out crowd at Eden Park last weekend.