Former Warriors coach Tony Kemp has doubled down on the idea of adding another New Zealand team to the NRL.
It is an idea that has been floated for many years but has come to the fore again in recent weeks as the NRL looks to add an 18th team to the competition.
The league has an uneven number in 2023 due to the addition of the Dolphins, who are scheduled for a ‘Battle of Brisbane’ clash with the Broncos on Friday night.
With the NRL looking to expand and the hype around the Dolphins-Broncos clash increasing as the match closes in, Kemp believes it is time to add a second Kiwi team to the competition.
“Talking a little bit more about this Dolphins-Broncos game, here is an example of why a second team in New Zealand would work,” Kemp told SENZ Breakfast
“You’ve got Redcliffe basically, which is everyone saying, ‘Don’t call them the Dolphins, call them Redcliffe, and we’re up against the Broncos, the other team in town and we’re battling it out’.”
The Warriors have been involved in the competition since 1995 and while they have recorded mixed results throughout the period, many - including SEN’s
Andrew Voss - believe it is time to repay the Warriors
for their selflessness throughout COVID with a rival club.
Kemp has also been vocal on the addition of a second New Zealand team, saying it could entice a ‘State of Origin’ style clash
and would be sure to attract record crowds.
“Could you imagine another New Zealand team coming up here to play or playing someone else in New Zealand, say at the new stadium down in Christchurch and you’ve got two New Zealand teams playing,” Kemp queried.
“It would be crazy. It sort of brings back that tribalism within your country, within your state.”
ARLC chief executive Peter V’landys has expressed an interest in forming three new teams within the next decade
, stretching the competition to 20 teams.
Papua New Guinea is the likely recipient of the 18th team, while expansion in New Zealand and Perth is seemingly also on the cards.
“It would be crazy.”