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Five-point tries and a tackle count limited to just five tackles are two of the revolutionary rule changes that the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys will encounter at the inaugural Auckland Nines in February.

The Cowboys will get to try out the new play when they meet the Sea Eagles first up on day one of the competition, to be held on 15-16 February at Eden Park.

The official tournament rules were launched this morning and also include a change to the knock-on rule which will see the ball handed straight over to the team that doesnt commit the error instead of a scrum being packed.

There will only be scrums in the event of a double knock-on.

Its the five-point try rule that is sure to create plenty of interest and debate in the three-day event that will feature all 16 NRL clubs.

Two bonus zones will be marked on the Eden Park surface between the goal posts, from the goal-line to the dead-ball line, in each in-goal area.

Any try scored in the zone will be worth five points with the referee signalling the bonus point by raising his arm in the air.

As its name suggests, the Nines will consist of two nine-minute halves with each team having nine players on the field, with six on the bench.

Each match will have unlimited interchange but only a maximum of two players can be interchanged at the one time.

Scrums will have a maximum of five men and all conversions, or penalty goal attempts, will be via a drop kick but worth the usual two points.

In other changes, a successful 40-20 kick will be followed by a tap re-start to the attacking team, sin-bins will be a five-minute maximum and drawn matches will be decided by golden try in extra time.

Field goals and penalty goals will be worthless in extra time.

Tickets to the event are on sale now through Ticketek visit the official website at
for details.
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