- Peter V’landys reveals plans for New Zealand second team
- A PNG team remains the favorite to become the 18th team.
- Footy boss says Wayne Bennett will be key consultant
Rugby league boss Peter V’landys has revealed the NRL is looking to create another team based overseas, this time in southern New Zealand.
V’landys touched down in Las Vegas ahead of the NRL double-header at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday, and detailed the NRL’s $420 million war chest it will use to fuel overseas expansion.
A Papua New Guinea franchise remains the favorite to become the NRL’s 18th team, but V’landys says a new New Zealand South Island team is also a real possibility.
“A second New Zealand team has merit,” V’landys said.
‘Maybe not as the 18th team, because we’re looking at PNG with the support of the Australian government, but it certainly has merit if we go to 20 teams.
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The football boss spoke about the NRL’s $420 million expansion war chest after arriving in Las Vegas for the code double-header (pictured left to right, stars Aaron Woods, Campbell Graham, Spencer Leniu and Bill Walters at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas).
‘When Nick Politis (Roosters president) says we should consider 20 teams, you certainly do because he is a very successful businessman.
‘The Warriors have been wonderful with the game, there is a lot of support in New Zealand.
‘When someone from Nick’s success says we should look at 20 teams, we’re going to look at it. And we should have a strategy to get there by a certain time, whether it’s three years, five years or ten years.”
The football manager said Wayne Bennett will be consulted on expansion plans and a call will be made on the possibility of new teams in the next six months.
“Wayne Bennett will absolutely be consulted,” V’landys said.
“He’s a genius; Wayne is the most valuable source we have in the game.”
‘There’s no point in leaving it in the garage.
‘Wayne has 40 or 50 years of knowledge of rugby league and would be the perfect person to be involved in creating an 18 team.
New Zealand football fans could soon have a second NRL team to support
“We will rely heavily on him for advice and input on expansion.”
V’landys said the amount of work done behind the scenes on PNG’s bid would surprise football fans.
“People will be surprised where we are with the PNG bid,” V’landys said.
‘It’s not 100 percent a dream come true.
‘We have been working very hard. It is 100 percent reality.
‘Anyone who thinks the PNG team would be a failure doesn’t know the facts that we know.
“We are in the good way”.