A series of serious injuries at the NRL Nines won’t deter stars from wanting to play in next year’s edition say NRL coaches.
David Williams and Luke Keary are set to join Lachlan Coote on the sidelines as long-term casualties of the NRL Auckland Nines.
North Queensland fullback Coote will miss most of the NRL season after rupturing his ACL on the tournament’s opening day.
Manly fear winger Williams may also have suffered a season-ending knee injury and he will undergo scans on Monday.
While young South Sydney playmaker Keary left Eden Park with his arm in a sling on Sunday and could have suffered a serious shoulder injury with scans also scheduled.
Newcastle halfback Jarrod Mullen will miss around four weeks after suffering a hamstring tear, Wests Tigers utility Curtis Sironen is out for six weeks with a fractured foot and Brisbane utility David Stagg will miss up to six weeks with a medial ligament injury.
Cronulla five-eighth Todd Carney is in doubt for the Sharks’ season opener against Gold Coast with a hamstring injury.
They were the major casualties of the two day event with tournament winning Cowboys coach Paul Green admitting he felt gutted for Coote.
However Green said he didn’t think it would deter clubs from playing their starts in seasons to come at the Nines.
“It’s been a fantastic tournament, very well organised and a wonderful weekend,” he said.
Anthony Griffin, coach of runners-up Brisbane agreed.
“I think it has been an absolute winner for the game, there is no doubt about that,” he said.
“Ever since we landed Auckland has been a buzz. It has been a great initiative and everyone I have spoken to has said that.”
Broncos captain Corey Parker said the game’s stars would be keen to play in next year’s event and even suggested the format could be expanded across three days.
“I can’t fault the tournament,” Parker said.
“And there is plenty of opportunity for the tournament to grow.”