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Is the time right for expansion?

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by mozgrame, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. mozgrame

    mozgrame Well-Known Member

    +5,134 /51
    Dan Nicholls – December 10, 2014

    As it does during every off-season, the question of expansion has once again been tabled.

    Yesterday it was revealed that the CEO of the Central QLD bid has been given assurance that they would, one day, be granted a licence to enter the competition.

    Earlier this week I commented, during an open letter to Todd Greenberg, that I believe expansion should be on the agenda, but we are not yet ready.

    I stand by my comment that the NRL talent pool is not yet able to support two new sides, perhaps even one, although in say three to five years, it will be.

    The emergence of talent coming through the Under 20s is incredible. In three to five years I have no doubt the competition would have produced another 20 or so NRL quality players .

    Right now however, the talent pool just isn’t there. The gap between the top sides and the bottom sides is far too pronounced to find another 34 first grade players to fill two run on sides, let alone two squads.

    For the record, I’d love to see two teams enter the competition in 2018. I’d be against one side coming in, it’d need to be two to avoid the dreaded bye round.

    Of course there are a mountain of obstacles to overcome, and the television deal would have to be altered to make room for another fixture, but assuming that could be worked out, I’d be all for new sides entering the comp.

    So, where would these two sides come from? There are plenty of opportunities, and I’d love to hear feedback on where you, if you support expansion of course, would like to see the sides come from.


    Perhaps the most attractive option for the NRL as it would allow a specialised, later time slot for television coverage.

    The fact Perth are two hours behind the East coast for the majority of the season means there could be a live 9:30 time slot every second week on a Saturday night, or a live Sunday afternoon game. It’d also offer the chance for Monday afternoon footy.

    The Western Reds attracted a huge crowd for their opening fixture, however ultimately the team was forced to fold.

    With the mining boom, a fair number of those based on the East coast have made their way across to the West and remain in WA.

    That coupled with the continued growth of rugby league, should ensure increased interest in any potential WA based side.

    Travel costs would be high, although I wouldn’t imagine it’d be too much higher than those incurred by clubs travelling to play the Cowboys in Townsville.

    Perth is a massive market and the sporting crowds are there, as shown by the huge crowds attracted for both the Dockers and Eagles in AFL.

    I have little doubt a new NRL side could survive and perhaps even thrive if based in Perth. The NRL would have to exercise patience as it would be a slow build, as it’s an AFL crazy town.

    Central Coast

    There are plenty of lapsed former Bears fans on the central coast that would surely return to the game should their side be re-entered into the competition.

    I remember the days of David Farleigh’s rampaging runs at North Sydney oval. I would love to see the red and black back in the NRL.

    There weren’t too many fans happy when the Bears and Manly were merged, and even less after the club folded and Manly survived, while the Bears folded.

    There’s no doubt there is a huge potential market on the central coast, who have for years demanded their own side, rather than accepting Manly, or other sides who play games occasionally in the area.

    The stadium is there, the fans are there, but is it simply too close to Sydney to fully capitalise?

    Travel would be easy for the majority of sides, as it’s only a bus trip from Sydney or Newcastle .

    There are plenty of positives in a possible bid from the Central Coast, however it’s likely the NRL will be looking to capture a new market rather than re-enter an existing one

    Central Queensland

    The area covered between Brisbane and Townsville is massive. Although there aren’t cities the size of the capitals in the area, there are plenty of potential fans to capture.

    Likely to be based out of a brand new stadium in Rockhampton, there’s a huge opportunity to draw in fans from hours north and south of the base.

    A fourth QLD side would be great for television also as well as creating another “derby” of sorts with the other QLD sides, especially the Cowboys.

    It’s probably not a matter of it, but when, a central QLD side enters the competition.

    The amount of potential interest in the side if massive, while many kids in the surrounding hundreds of kilometres would be drawn to the sport, rather than AFL or cricket.

    Central NSW

    There’s a possibility that a side playing out of Coffs Harbour or Port Macquarie could be established, although I would not consider it the strongest candidate.

    Once again, a massive untapped area in terms of both land size, and population, is there for the taking.

    A brand new stadium could be built and a brand new brand launched.

    There are hundreds of kms between Newcastle and the Gold Coast , meaning there is a huge potential for creating new fans.

    I wouldn’t put money on a central NSW bid, but it’s a definite option to bridge the gap between Newcastle and the holiday strip.

    New Zealand

    A second New Zealand side has great merit, especially if based in Wellington.

    The country’s win in the recent Four Nations tournament has helped to boost interest in the game, which to be fair is still a long way behind Rugby in terms of attention.

    A Wellington based side would provide a monster clash with the Warriors , as well as an early television time slot if Foxsports wanted the 12 noon kick off on a Sunday, or an early Saturday game.

    There is a massive potential to attract new players to the game in the country, and the second side would provide a home based avenue for players to enter into the NRL.

    The amount of NZ or pacific island born players in the juniors is incredible. I’d love to see them given a better chance of staying closer to home, while chasing their NRL dream.


    Dave Smith has referred to Brisbane as rugby league heartland, and the Broncos supporter base is massive, mainly due to a lack of competition in the area.

    There would be plenty of fans willing to back a newly created side, and I’d dare say a few would come over from the rah rah or the rugby if a second side was entered.

    That being said, it’d be a small market geographically and I think the NRL is after a bigger fish so to speak.

    The market is Brisbane is already well and truly NRL territory, and a second side might saturate rather than expand it.


    There was once plenty of talk about a PNG based side entering the competition. The QLD Cup PNG side has been a success in terms of players progressing to NRL level, as well as fans supporting the Kumuls.

    Rugby League is the national game in PNG, and there is no doubt the region would embrace an NRL side.

    The travel costs would be a huge obstacle for most sides, and a PNG side would have to travel every second week, meaning it would likely need financial assistance.

    There are plenty of positives here, but it would be unlikely to say the least.


    I think it comes down to two sides entering from Perth, central QLD, or Wellington. I think Perth and Central QLD shade it. There are too many positives and almost zero downside in either, while Wellington would always be behind the eight ball in terms of competing with the rugby.

    Read more: http://www.zerotackle.com/nrl/is-the-time-right-for-expansion-if-so-where-16023/#ixzz3M6hslhOB
    Any time is a good time to expand, according to Zorba.
  2. The Who

    The Who Well-Known Member Premium Member

    +7,257 /173
    Brisbane definitely needs a second side. It also seems that there is enough Queensland talent to support a further club somewhere in that State.
    Then we should split the comp into two groups - keeping all those Queensland clubs playing each other twice, when those matches can be shown exclusively in Qld, leaving NSW viewers with decent clubs to watch.
    The top four clubs from the two congresses then play finals football.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Mark from Brisbane

      Mark from Brisbane Living the dream Premium Member

      +19,682 /383
      Not a bad idea, but would still like to see each side play each other at least once.
    • Disco

      Disco Well-Known Member

      +1,778 /48
      Sharks should still move to Perth, then 2 extra teams from Central QLD/Brisbane/Wellington
    • Daddycool08

      Daddycool08 Well-Known Member

      +372 /4
      I have always supported expansion.

      The NRL should have a policy of an additional 2 teams by 2017 with another two teams by 2020.

      IMHO bring in Western Australia and Wellington in 2017 and PNG and Central Coast in 2020.

      Reduce the number of NRL graded players from 25 to 23 thus having now (2 * 16) 32 NRL standard guys ready to make up a nucleus of the two expansion teams.

      Change the under 20's to under 23's.

      Have only 15 NRL players and two under 23's each game.

      Offer a one off only deal to any Sydney based team to relocate to Adelaide. First come first served. EG $55,000,000 (GST inclusive) over 5 years. If you cannot grow a foothold in a new city in 5 years with a war chest like that you don't deserve to survive.
      • Like Like x 1
      • The Who

        The Who Well-Known Member Premium Member

        +7,257 /173
        You would. You'd play each team in your group twice, and once in the other group, which should give each club around 24 matches in the regular season.
      • tookey

        tookey Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

        +5,801 /186
        Bring back the bears
      • bob dylan

        bob dylan Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

        +6,440 /192
        Biggest problem is the quality of referees. While ever the NRL refuse to allow the refs to do more than one game a week the answer is No.

        We cant have the 9th and 10th ranked referees adjudicating NRL matches
        • Like Like x 2
        • Shoe1

          Shoe1 Well-Known Member

          +7,214 /106
          I'd like to see separate teams from harbord, manly, belrose, narraweena, Avalon, Forestville, narrabeen etc. All of the current stars should be drafted to play for these teams, and slap the rest of the fake "franchises" out of the league.
        • Moondog

          Moondog What's up Darth? Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

          +5,287 /51
          I'd like to see Souths, Easts and the dogs all relocate to Tasmania.
          • Like Like x 1
          • Ralphie

            Ralphie Well-Known Member Premium Member

            +2,953 /287
            Relocate Sharks to Perth, and admit 4 new teams: 2nd Brisbane Team, Central Qld (Rockhamption), NZ South Island (Christchurch) & Central NSW (Coff's Harbour) to make it 20 teams. We then have a competition of 20 rounds with standalone weekends for three Origins played on the Saturday night. This way the Competition is fairer with every team playing every team once. We then stick with the Top 8 formula for finals.

            Current games = 24 Rounds X 8 for 192 Season Games
            Proposed games = 20 Rounds X 10 for 200 Season Games

            All new entrants must be independently funded for the first 5 years (ie NO NRL Grants) so the existing teams finances are protected.

            Return to 1 referee system so fewer referees required overall.

            Job Done!
          • Eagles2nv

            Eagles2nv Sea you in the finals 2017 Tipping Competitor

            +2,103 /49
            I like the idea of expansion to grow the game but given the current useless administration headed by greenturd I am very skeptical about the concept. They cant even run the game properly now, and crowd numbers are falling. We also need a better reserve grade system.

            If we do add 2 teams you would think Perth and another QLD team would be the most viable. Perhaps in the short term if cronulla goes broke their relocation goes back on the table and use it as a trial. The 2 markets were cronulla could go are central coast (shark bears) or adelaide (they can then be the great whites).
          • MadMarcus

            MadMarcus Local Lunatic 2017 Tipping Competitor

            +8,383 /74
            If we play our cards right, soon we could be pretty much back where we were in 1995. What wonderful progress. The AFL must be concerned. ..
            • Like Like x 1
            • Bandit

              Bandit Well-Known Member

              +169 /5
              ^^^ Agree MM.

              Expansion maybe 2025 and even then, more so
              in a geographical sense.

              We struggle to fill 16 sides with NRL-standard players, not to mention Refs.

              2nd Brisbane team, Wellington and Perth have potential & commercial viability.

              If 2025 Brisbane, the no 2 Rugby League city on the Planet, can't successfully support 2 teams, then we might as well give up now FFS.

              1 Sydney side (at least), has to go.
              Even by 2025, I think 18 is the maximum number of sides the NRL could field.
            • double hoops

              double hoops Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

              +3,721 /156
              Rockhampton. Granted there is a few talented Kids that have come from CQ. But CQ just doesn't have the population to have it's own team. If Canberra has to pay overs to attract NRL players, poor old Rockhampton is in for a world of hurt.

              The thing people forget it just because you can develop league players, dosen't mean those kids want to continue to live there. It has a team in the QRL which for as long as I can remember finished pretty close to last. They are a feeder club for the Broncos so there is already a path way to the NRL for kids to stay in Rocky and be developed to NRL level if they so desire.

              But the kids don't stay, if they can't get the financial support in that area to retain players for the QRL, Can't keep talented kids even with the ability to play for the Donkey. Why are they even on the radar to progress to the NRL?

              Put the second team in Brisbane.
              • Like Like x 1
              • mozgrame

                mozgrame Well-Known Member

                +5,134 /51
                G'day Cliffy's Is god :)

                Mate, why don't you investigate it yourself? I have been over and over and over these same silly arguments. Look, there won't be any expansion in the next 10 years anyway. Rocky leads the charge because they meet all the criteria set by the NRL.

                Why would talented kids, produced in CQ, want to play out their careers for the Capra's in Q-Cup?? They don't just go to the Bronco's, they are spread throughout the NRL, England and the other Q-Cup sides.

                You obviously have no idea about the football politics that goes on behind the scene, and that's not your fault, not many people do. I am very closely connected with the Capra's and believe me, your mind would pop if you had an inkling of the amount of pressure put on the Capra's by the Bronco's. If you think the Bronco's are connected to the Capra's and no other Q-Cup team, you are dreaming. And vice versa. The point to remember is that these CQ kids LOVE footy. They WANT to play in the NRL desperately. They are extremely proud of their home soil.

                The Storm actually take more talent from Rocky than the Bronco's. I am happy that you have kindly noted that CQ does produce "a few talented kids" though. Lets have a look at some:

                Travis WADDELL
                Ben HUNT
                Corey OATES
                Tim GLASBY
                Josh HOFFMAN
                Daly CHERRY-EVANS
                Dave TAYLOR
                Cameron MUNSTER
                Ben BARBA
                Brett SEYMOUR
                Luke CAPEWELL
                Jharal YOW YEH
                Ben RIDGE
                Matt SCOTT
                Dane NIELSEN
                Antonio KAUFUSI
                Maurice BLAIR
                Neville COSTIGAN
                Nick EMMETT
                Gavin COOPER
                Chris SANDOW
                Willie TONGA
                Matt BALLIN
                Jacob LILLYMAN
                Nathan FIEN
                Chris MCQUEEN

                Not bad for hick central!

                There is no way you can say that if CQ had a team, no one would want to stay and represent it. If you believe that, you don't know CQ people at all.

                Then there are the old blokes like ;

                Jamie SIMPSON
                Tony MARTIN
                Gary Larson
                Jason Hetherington
                PJ Marsh
                Clinton Schifcofske
                Mal Meninga
                Sid Domic
                Rhys Wesser
                Rod Reddy
                Dale Shearer
                Martin Bella
                Alan McIndoe
                Steve Jackson
                Steve Renouf
                Brett Dallas
                Julian O’Neill
                Trevor Gillmeister
                Adrian Vowles
                Matt Sing
                Kevin Campion
                Wendell Sailor
                Steven Bell
                Josh Hannay
                Travis Norton
                Jamie Goddard
                Owen Cunningham
                Darren Fritz
                Les Kiss
                Tony Rea
                Paul Bowman
                Russell Bawden
                Scott Prince

                etc, etc.

                There will be no expansion any time soon though, so.....

                Our biggest threat in this area is AFL. If our kids start playing AFL instead of rugby league, it will put more of a talent strain on the NRL. I'm sure the NRL have considered this also. In saying all that, if given a team next year, we would be 6 or 8 years off being truly competitive any way because all these blokes listed are already contracted to other teams. lol
              • HoldenV8

                HoldenV8 Well-Known Member

                +10,540 /173
                Personally I'd just be happy to see Manly play at least 1 game per season in Adelaide.

                Ain't gonna happen though. Last time we had a game were was Scumdogs vs Drizzle in 2011. But at least we've had more games than Tasmania :p

                The problem with the NRL is that in Australia they concentrate so much on NSW and QLD and to a slightly lesser extent Melbourne, that other than the occasional foray into Perth or Darwin, they seem to forget there is a whole country west of the NSW, Qld and Victorian borders (plus Tassie). That's the difference between them and the AFL. The AFL have shown they aren't afraid to set up and support teams in what traditionally is foreign territory while the NRL seem reluctant to stray too far from home. In terms of a truly national competition, the AFL has that won hands down.

                Interesting to see David Gallop in Adelaide for the FFA Cup Final on Tuesday night. Funny, Adelaide wasn't even on his radar as boss of the NRL.....

                Hell, even the Rah Rah mob have managed to keep a team in Perth.

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