You thought the Auckland Nines was the pinnacle of nine-a-side competition? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Central Coast Stadium is set to host a star-studded rugby league nines tournament featuring some of the greatest players to have played the game in the last 30 years.
The Legends of League tournament will partner with Paladin Sports and the Mark Hughes Foundation for the inaugural competition, which will be held on November 18.
The tournament will feature former legends from five active NRL clubs – Brisbane Broncos, Canterbury Bulldogs, Newcastle Knights, Manly Sea Eagles and Parramatta Eels – in addition to a sixth team of Barbarians consisting of other former greats.
The former legends will be joined by three famous retired referees; Bill Harrigan, Steven Clark and Sean Hampstead.
The winning team will take home $75,000 and the runner-up will pocket $30,000.
The competition will feature two pools of teams, with each team playing each other once in their respective pool.
The top two teams from each pool will then cross over and face each other in the semi-finals, with the two winners advancing to the grand final.
Brisbane’s squad will see the return of several premiership-winning stars in Gorden Tallis, Wendell Sailor, Lote Tuqiri and Shaun Berrigan.
Some of the Bulldogs 2004 premiership-winning squad will play alongside each other one more time, with Andrew Ryan, Reni Maitua, Willie Mason and Tony Grimaldi all featuring.
Manly’s side, led by former club stalwart Steve Menzies, will also feature the likes of Cliff Lyons, Solomon Haumono, Luke Dorn and Mark Bryant.
The Eels side features a moment of nostalgia, with the bulk of the squad made up of their early 2000’s NRL teams featuring Ian Hindmarsh, Michael Buettner, Nathan Hindmarsh and Dean Widders.
While the Newcastle side will not feature the Johns brothers, it still boasts the likes of Danny Buderus, Kurt Gidley, Robbie O’Davis and Owen Craigie.
The Barbarians side are not to be underestimated as they boast the likes of Amos Roberts, Matt King, Michael Crocker and Tim Brasher among others.
A percentage of event ticket profits will be donated to the Mark Hughes Foundation, the official charity partner of the tournament.
Tickets are on sale now with prices starting at just $10.
Brisbane Broncos: Barry Berrigan, Shaun Berrigan, Leon Bott, Kevin Campion, Neville Costigan, Nathan Friend, Ben Hannant, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Casey McGuire, Brad Meyers, Scott Minto, Wendell Sailor (C), Brett Seymour, Gorden Tallis, Lote Tuqiri.
Canterbury Bulldogs: Chris Armit, Tony Grimaldi, Dene Halatau, Daniel Holdsworth, Brett Kimmorley, Reni Maitua, Willie Mason, Mark O’Meley, Brad Morrin, Andrew Ryan (C), Brent Sherwin, Willie Talau, Steve Turner, Matt Utai.
Manly Sea Eagles: Steven Bell, Mark Bryant, Travis Burns, Scott Donald, Luke Dorn, Jamie Goddard, Craig Hancock, Heath L’Estrange, Cliff Lyons, Steve Menzies (C), Danny Moore, Shannon Nevin, Chad Randall, Michael Witt.
Newcastle Knights: Daniel Abraham, Danny Buderus (C), Owen Craigie, Ben Cross, Scott Dureau, Matt Hilder, Todd Lowrie, Clint Newton, Robbie O’Davis, Russell Richardson, Craig Smith, Jeremy Smith, Brad Tighe, Adam Woolnough.
Parramatta Eels: Michael Buettner, Luke Burt (C), Brad Drew, Brett Finch, Ian Hindmarsh, Nathan Hindmarsh, Matthew Keating, PJ Marsh, Wade McKinnon, Dennis Moran, Luke O’Dwyer, Joel Reddy, Tim Smith, Mark Tookey, Dean Widders.
Barbarians: Tim Brasher, Michael Crocker, Craig Gower, Joe Galuvao, Matt Geyer, Michael Henderson, Scott Hill, Brett Kearney, Matt King (C), Amos Roberts, John Skandalis, Chris Walker, Michael Weyman, Paul Whatuira, Craig Wing.
Gates open at 12 Noon for 6 hours of footy…