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Include English teams in Nines: Tomkins

England star Sam Tomkins has urged NRL Nines organisers to include Super League teams in next year's version of the tournament to build on the stunning success of the inaugural event.
Include English teams in Nines: Tomkins
by AAP

By James MacSmith

AUCKLAND, Feb 16 AAP - England star Sam Tomkins has urged NRL Nines organisers to include Super League teams in next year's version of the tournament to build on the stunning success of the inaugural event.

NRL boss Dave Smith revealed in the lead-up to the event English sides Wigan, Leeds and Bradford had expressed a desire to be involved this year.

And as tournament organisers sit down this week to discuss how to improve on this year's event, Warriors superstar Tomkins, who was one of the Nines' leading lights, said English sides could add to the interest.

"It's definitely something I would like to see," Tomkins said.

"I don't see why they shouldn't do it. There is enough room for another few teams in this.

"The World Club Challenge is such a big thing for English fans, there is such interest in that.

"If there was a guest side or an English side in the Nines each year it would only attract more fans.

"I think it would be a great thing for the tournament to build on its success."

More than 89,000 people surged through the Eden Park turnstiles at the two-day event, merchandise sales more than tripled those budgeted for and there was a dearth of off-field incidents, making the NRL hopeful next year will be even bigger and better.

Most importantly it has the players' support, a lack of which led to the death knell of the previous Sevens format, including Brisbane captain Corey Parker.

"There has been a great buzz here all weekend and it is only going to get better," Parker said.

"There are guys at home watching this, watching the footy going on who will want to be a part of it, I know I certainly do.

"In the years going forward there are opportunities for this game to grow."


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