Phil Gould rips into NRL Auckland Nines

Phil Gould.
Phil Gould.

Aussie rugby league identity Phil Gould has ripped into Auckland Nines promoters Duco Events, accusing them of failing to adequately compensate clubs for players injured in the tournament.

Gould did a "Meryl Streep" by not naming Duco directly, just as the Hollywood actress recently lacerated Donald Trump without directly using his name.

But while he didn't directly refer to Duco, the man known as "Gus Gould" made it clear he believed the Kiwi events company was benefitting more from the Nines arrangement than the game itself.

The former New South Wales State of Origin and NRL-premiership winning coach, now the General Manager of the Penrith Panthers, let rip with a series of tweets over the weekend.

The string of social media posts came after Gould was asked to comment on the Nines format during one of his popular Twitter Q&As with fans.

When asked which side he thought would take out the third Nines, set for Auckland's Eden Park next month, Gould bluntly responded: "Don't care.

"I don't like it .. I have zero interest in it."

Many fans immediately took Gould to task. One called him "Grumpy Gus" and others accused him of being a footballing grinch.

But Gould held his ground, explaining his opposition to the Nines in greater depth.

He said a lack of compensation for injured players was a major reason.

"Injuries of course. And the fact many NRL players are not suited to the game. Why should they be forced to play?" he asked in one tweet.

In another he argued that 'NRL players shouldn't be subjected to 9s football especially that time of year on that ground'.

"It's money making venture for outside promoters who use our NRL-contracted players without compensation for injuries.

"Not trained for it. Different speed, intensity, spaces, energy systems, play 3 or more times in one day. Not normal."

Gould told fans that if they wanted entertainment, they should just wait until the start of the regular NRL season.

"I'll find plenty of players to entertain you with 9s football if that's what you want. But they are not NRL players," he added.

- NZ Herald

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