Traditional rivals Australia and New Zealand will square off in a spectacular opening night of matches of the Downer World Nines at Bankwest Stadium this October.
Both men’s and women’s teams will feature in a star-studded evening on Friday 18 October that also includes England v Wales, Tonga v Cook Islands, and Samoa v Fiji.
An opening ceremony will be held at 6pm before kick-off in the first of 28 games on the two-day program – France v Lebanon at 6.20pm.
The following day will feature two Australian men’s and women’s Nines teams double-headers, while the stands will shake when Samoa and Tonga start their cultural dances ahead of their meeting.
That’s all part of nine hours of action on Saturday with all teams – 12 men’s and four women’s – playing a minimum of two games.
The two men’s semi-finals will be held at 6.55pm and 7.20pm before the women’s final at 7.45pm and the men’s final at 9pm.
The NRL will release tickets for individual days for club ticketed members on Monday, August 5, from 10am.
Supporters can attend Friday’s matches from $30 for adults and $80 for families, while tickets are available for Saturday’s games, including the finals, from $49 (adults) and $135 (families).
Single day-pass general public tickets will be available from Wednesday, August 7, at 10am.
Fans can take advantage of dedicated team-specific supporter sections, with a flag included in the ticket purchase.
“This tournament is all about entertainment – fans can see some of the best players involved in more than 12 hours of action-packed rugby league across the two days,” said NRL Chief Commerical Officer Andrew Abdo.
“Having the traditional rivalries of Australia-New Zealand and Tonga-Samoa among other great clashes will be enthralling viewing during the pool stages.
“The rivalries, the men’s and women’s doubleheaders, the colour of the competing fans, will give us wonderful entertainment.”
Group A includes Australia, New Zealand, PNG and USA; Group B will include England, France, Lebanon and Wales; while Group C features Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Cook Islands.
The two highest-placed teams from Group A will progress to the semi-finals alongside the winners of Groups B and C.
The two highest-placed teams from the women’s pool, which features Australia, New Zealand, England and PNG, will fight out the women’s final.
“The excitement is building for this magnificent event, watching our finest international athletes compete at this super-charged form of rugby league is too good to miss,” said RLIF Southern Hemisphere General Manager, Jeremy Edwards.