Queensland football boss demands a Sydney team be KILLED and moved to Perth while calling for a fifth team to play outside the Sunshine State
- Bruce Hatcher wants a major change in NRL
- Eager to see competition expand to 18 clubs
- He sees having a team in Perth as a priority
Queensland Rugby League Chairman Bruce Hatcher has called for an NRL team from Sydney to be uprooted and relocated to Perth in the wake of the huge success of the competition’s first Battle of Brisbane between the newly formed Broncos and Dolphins Friday night.
The clash drew a crowd of 51,047 at Suncorp Stadium, a record for a single-club game, and came shortly after the sports powerhouses discussed hosting a 20-team competition at the annual general meeting of clubs in February.
Earlier this month, Australian Rugby League chairman Peter V’landys indicated a Pacific side could be added as the 18th team, despite Perth being promoted as a good option for an additional club. for several years.
The incredible crowd for the clash between the Dolphins and the Broncos in the NRL’s first ‘Battle of Brisbane’ is sure to fuel calls for a continued expansion of the competition (Pictured Dolphins star Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, left, celebrates his attempt on Friday night)
Queensland Rugby League Chairman Bruce Hatcher (right, with Kevin Walters, middle, and Gen Miles) thinks Sydney has too many teams and one should move to Perth
Hatcher is eager to see a team emerge in Western Australia and has a radical plan to make it happen.
“The best way to give Perth an identity in the NRL is to straddle two markets with a history starting in Sydney,” he told the daily telegraph.
‘There are too many teams in Sydney, but if you take a team out of Sydney and move it to Perth, we will have a more balanced competition with a national footprint.
‘I’m not going to name which team should go. I’ll leave that to the ARL Commission… if you include a fifth team from Queensland, it’s an 18-team competition.’
Hatcher added that the AFL had made similar moves by moving south Melbourne to Sydney to create the Swans and moving Fitzroy north to establish the Brisbane Lions.
The Dolphins and Broncos drew a crowd of 51,047 to Suncorp Stadium on Friday night (pictured), a record for a single-club game on the field. Hatcher believes Queensland can accommodate a fifth NRL team
Dolphins manager Wayne Bennett noted that while established clubs didn’t want their team added to the NRL, the results have been fantastic, and he believes current teams don’t want to see any newcomers “because they’re selfish “.
If the league decides to bring an additional team to the league in 2025, an announcement must be made this year.
A second New Zealand team is also another option alongside the Queensland bid teams that missed out on expansion in 2023.
But on March 11, V’landys gave the strongest indication yet that a long-heralded Pacific team might be the favorite to fill the job.
Australian Rugby League Commission boss Peter V’landys (pictured) is also looking for a Pasifika expansion team based in Papua New Guinea.
The move has received significant backing from the Australian government, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese raising the issue in the Papua New Guinea parliament in January.
Deputy First Minister Richard Marles also told media in Port Moresby last year that “now is the time” for an NRL side, wanting to strengthen ties with Australia in the region.
V’landys said that if the next expansion option was the Papua New Guinea-Pasifika bid, they would likely enter the competition in 2025.
“The Federal Government is very keen that we consider the Papua New Guinea/Pasifika solution, where there would be a PNG team with all the Pacific nations.”