Historic club missing in the NRL for four decades plans to rise from the ashes in Perth – and it’s not the North Sydney Bears
- Newtown Jets could enter the NRL competition
- In accordance with the Western Australian license offer
- NRL wants 18 teams at the start of the 2026 season
- Other bids in Queensland, New Zealand and PNG
The Newtown Jets could make a sensational return to professional rugby league after joining Western Australia’s bid to become the next NRL franchise.
After folding in 1983 due to poor finances, the iconic inner west Sydney football club based at Henson Park has fielded teams in levels below first grade.
But there are now plans for a remarkable sporting revival.
“It’s nice to be acknowledged and recognised,” Newtown chief executive Stuart McCarthy said News Corp. “It’s in the very embryonic stages. Western Australia has strong arguments for a future NRL license.”
McCarthy confirmed that the Jets “have been approached as a potential viable partner” and as a founding club dating back to 1908, the club is “very positive about Western Australia’s admission.’
The Newtown Jets could return to professional rugby league after joining Western Australia’s bid to become the next NRL franchise
After folding in 1983 due to poor finances, Sydney’s inner west Sydney football club is about to return to the big time (pictured, club great Tommy Raudonikis)
Talks between the Jets and a Western Australian Government-led working group began in April, where it was promised that the expansion team would keep the Jets name, keep their respected blue playing kit and play at least one NRL game per season at Henson Park or Leichhardt Oval. .
Newtown would also be one feeder club on the Perth side.
In terms of name, they could be called the Jets – or the Perth Jets.
It is clear that the NRL wants to have an 18th franchise by 2026 – with a long-term goal of a 20-team league.
The last time an NRL game was held at Henson Park – which will soon be getting a $10 million upgrade – was in 1990 when the Roosters took on the Sharks.
Newtown is also Cronulla’s feeder club and has no plans to end that relationship any time soon.
A full-time rugby league team based in Perth wouldn’t be historic – the Western Reds, with mavericks like Mark Geyer and Julian O’Neill, played from 1995 to 1997, with their last season in the News Limited-backed Super League.
Newtown is a rugby league club that dates back to 1908 and has legions of fans across Australia
But with Optus Stadium seating 60,000 fans, the hunger for a second coming is tantalizing.
WA Premier Roger Cook said it is the right time to field a team in his state.
“If the NRL is to become a serious national competition, they need a WA team,” said Cook.
‘It’s that simple. “From my recent conversations I am very confident that WA will have an NRL team in the future. It’s just a matter of how and when.
‘[ARLC boss] Peter V’landys has an ambitious and exciting plan to grow the NRL and the Commission now understands that WA simply needs to be part of the vision.’