Toyota Cowboys forward Gavin Cooper became a fashion model in Sydney today as North Queensland’s eye-catching playing strip for the inaugural NRL Auckland Nines was revealed to the public for the first time.
Produced by Cowboys’ apparel partner ISC, the bright yellow, orange and navy strip is sure to stand out at Eden Park in Auckland for the $A2.34 million event on 15-16 February.
Cowboys members and supporters will be able to secure their own version from the Cowboys Team Shop from early February.
The jerseys for all 15 Australian clubs were on show with Coops sharing the stage with Ben Hunt (Broncos), Michael Ennis (Bulldogs), Jason Nightingale (Dragons), Willie Mason (Knights), Kelepi Tanginoa (Eels), Jamie Soward (Panthers), Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs), Luke Bateman (Raiders), Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Roosters), Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles), Chris Heighington (Sharks), Sisa Waqa (Storm), Ryan James (Titans) and Robbie Farah (Tigers).
“It’s definitely different to what we normally wear but that suits the Nines because it’s going to be very different than what we tackle each week in the NRL,” Cooper said.
“It’s going to be an exciting couple of days of rugby league and I know our boys are keen to know who our coach is going to select to take to Auckland.
“With it being the inaugural tournament, it’s something you’d like to be part of if it’s possible so early in the year.
“It’s definitely going to test out our fitness levels.”
There are only limited seats remaining before the event is declared a sell-out in its inaugural year.
“To attract over 90,000 fans over two days – including more than 10,000 from outside of Auckland – for the inaugural event, which is still 24 days away, is a great achievement,” NRL head of football Todd Greenberg said.
The rush towards a sell-out is no surprise to NRL Auckland Nines Managing Director, David Higgins of Duco Events.
“From day one (fellow Duco Events director) Dean Lonergan and I thought the concept was a winner,” Higgins said.
“We always thought the event could sell out, but didn’t expect it until a day before the event when the hype is at a premium.
“To be in this position a month out – that has totally blown us away.
“It is a testament to the fact that rugby league has a huge fan base and fans realise that the quality of football on the field will be immense from game one.”