NRL Nines won't push Rugby Tens out but Brisbane could host both

Duco aren't prepared to move the Global Tens tournament away from Brisbane, while the NRL Nines tournament could also be set to be staged in the Queensland city. Photo / Getty Images.
Duco aren't prepared to move the Global Tens tournament away from Brisbane, while the NRL Nines tournament could also be set to be staged in the Queensland city. Photo / Getty Images.

Duco Events say they are highly unlikely to relocate the fledgling Global Tens rugby tournament to bring the NRL Nines to Brisbane.

Duco director Dean Lonergan said the inaugural Tens event at Suncorp Stadium last weekend - in the first year of a four-year deal - had been a raging success and was set to stay in Brisbane.

There was some speculation last week that Duco might swap the Nines and Tens given the popularity of the Auckland event was waning and Brisbane's peerless track record for supporting rugby league.

Lonergan said today it was "probably time to go elsewhere" with the NRL Nines and mentioned Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne as possible venues to replace Auckland.

Lonergan said poor performances by the New Zealand Warriors in 2016 and their understrength squad for the 2017 Nines tournament was to blame for the indifferent crowds this year.

He said Duco had not investigated the possibility of staging both events in Brisbane but the Tens rugby had found a home in the Sunshine State.

"The NRL and ourselves will be doing a review of the Nines and discussions have to take place as to where their future lies," Lonergan said.

"Brisbane is quite obviously a massively supportive rugby league town but they equally could go to any one of a number of Australian cities - potentially Perth, potentially Melbourne," he said.

"This is more a discussion for the NRL for where it should or shouldn't go. They'll have a huge amount of input because they have priorities they need to achieve for themselves.

"We've done no real research or had any real discussion with anyone around doing two events in Brisbane that would literally be a week apart."

The Victorian government is keen to bring the Nines to Melbourne while the NRL knows it will get a robust gate at Brisbane.

Two tournaments on back-to-back weekends in Brisbane may cannibalise potential corporate support more than public support as the crossover between rugby league and rugby union supporters would be minimal.

Lonergan said Duco could not have been happier with the Global Tens which are put on in partnership with Tourism Events Queensland, Brisbane Marketing and Suncorp Stadium.

"Those three partners have been nothing short of absolutely magnificent. They are the most progressive organisations we've dealt with," he said.

"Anything that is going to happen in Brisbane going forward, they are the first ones we would consult as to what they want to happen.

"I can't speak highly enough of them. We think the Global Tens has got an enormous future.

"The Brisbane alliance supported us in the new venture ... from a longevity point of view, we think the Global Tens has a great future in Brisbane.

"Can't wait to do it again in Brisbane."

- news.com.au

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