Ricardo Simich brings you the inside scoop from the local social scene and beyond.

Spy: Nines party will go on

NZ Warriors' Shaun Johnson. Photo / Getty Images
NZ Warriors' Shaun Johnson. Photo / Getty Images

With off-field scandal in the NRL on the other side of the Tasman and off-field player behaviour under the microscope, it was no surprise to hear the head of the NRL's integrity unit, Nick Weeks, has issued a warning to the 288 players participating in this weekend's Downer NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park.

Chief executives for each of the 16 clubs have been told to: "Please ensure the NRL's expectations are understood by your players and staff travelling to Auckland."

Every club will have the assistance of a New Zealand police officer at evening functions and team dinners.

For the last two years, the Monte Cristo Room at Toto's in Nelson St has held a successful, unofficial after-party and has hosted many players.

This year, Spy understands event promoter Duco has told the Monte Cristo Room it will not sanction the party in any form. Instead, we hear any kind of after-party will be held at Snapdragon at the Viaduct, owned by Mark Keddell, a friend of Duco Events.

Keddell would not use "official" to describe the Snapdragon party, as no one wants to say there is one, but he said he was across all behaviour expectations of the NRL and was briefing staff and security to look after the players.

Spy understands the bar's private library has been reserved for players and event officials only, ensuring no one is bothered by fans armed with cellphones.

Spy will be in the Eden Park stands this weekend, cheering on the Warriors. Here's hoping the return of Shaun Johnson from a horror leg injury will be the good luck charm the side needs for victory. On Friday, after months of speculation he confirmed on radio, he and Kayla Cullen are an item. So no doubt she will be cheering from the stands.

- Spy.co.nz

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