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John Grant urges NRL to add a team in Ipswich/Logan

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14,483
Former ARL Commission boss John Grant warns NRL of AFL threat amid expansion push to Brisbane’s western corridor

The first ARL Commission chairman, John Grant, has seen it all in rugby league and he has urged NRL bosses to make the right expansion calls in a turf war with the AFL.

Peter Badel
@badel_cmail
7 min read
May 5, 2024 - 6:00AM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom


Former ARL Commission boss John Grant has backed plans for a 20-team league and urged the NRL to consider a fifth Queensland team in Brisbane’s western corridor to combat the AFL threat.


The Courier Mail
 
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MugaB

Coach
Messages
13,481
Former ARL Commission boss John Grant warns NRL of AFL threat amid expansion push to Brisbane’s western corridor

The first ARL Commission chairman, John Grant, has seen it all in rugby league and he has urged NRL bosses to make the right expansion calls in a turf war with the AFL.

Peter Badel
@badel_cmail
7 min read
May 5, 2024 - 6:00AM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom


Former ARL Commission boss John Grant has backed plans for a 20-team league and urged the NRL to consider a fifth Queensland team in Brisbane’s western corridor to combat the AFL threat.


The Courier Mail
Wow this guy is still getting paid... fmd... cashed up Ipswich and Easts really pushing shit up the hill, John Grant was the guy who's stunted us since he became chair, since he left we've actually grown and are about to grow further
 

cinders7

Juniors
Messages
56
Former ARL Commission boss John Grant warns NRL of AFL threat amid expansion push to Brisbane’s western corridor

The first ARL Commission chairman, John Grant, has seen it all in rugby league and he has urged NRL bosses to make the right expansion calls in a turf war with the AFL.

Peter Badel
May 5, 2024 - 6:00AM

Former ARL Commission boss John Grant has backed plans for a 20-team league and urged the NRL to consider a fifth Queensland team in Brisbane’s western corridor to combat the AFL threat.

Grant delivered the Queensland Rugby League’s Ross Livermore lecture on Saturday and he used the time-honoured annual address to provide his verdict on the state of the game under ARLC chairman Peter V’landys.

The 74-year-old believes the code is flying under V’landys’ leadership, but isn’t convinced the NRL’s next expansion move should be to Papua New Guinea, warning of the AFL incursion on Australian soil.

Grant, the inaugural ARLC chair in 2012, also lamented the legal stoush between the NRL and its state bodies, the QRL and NSWRL, urging the parties to smoke the peace pipe for the sake of the code.

“It’s terrible. It’s desperately bad,” Grant said of rugby league’s bitter civil war.

“It takes so much energy out of people who need to apply their energy to growing the game.

“It’s just so negative. It’s either power or money and this seems to be a bit of both to me.

“I have strong views on this. Unfortunately it’s very distracting and quite destructive of energy that should be used to growing the game.”

PNG EXPANSION
V’landys has a vision for a 20-team NRL, possibly by the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

Papua New Guinea is a red-hot favourite to win an 18th NRL licence giving the support of Anthony Albanese’s Federal government, which is prepared to invest more than $600 million in a Pacific team.

Grant, whose regime first got the ball rolling on expansion, likes the idea of adding three more teams, but questioned whether Papua New Guinea could sustain an NRL franchise.

“I think, generally speaking, that the game should be able to support 20 teams,” Grant said.

“The PNG team that competes in the Hostplus Cup is competitive, but my question is, ‘Are there enough players coming through the PNG systems so that they can be self-sustaining in terms of their talent?’

“That’s the question that has to be answered before the NRL even contemplates that region.

“The country, as we know, is mad about rugby league. If you talk to the PNG district leaders about what they need on the ground, geez they need a lot of work and it takes a lot of time and money.

“I realise putting an NRL team in PNG would attract everyone and sets a beacon, but you would have to support it financially for a very long time.

“Government participation in that space is crucial.

“If it’s going to be serious, it has to match the long-term investment that’s required by the game.

“I don’t know the size of the investment but my observation is that by taking an NRL team to PNG, you need a long-term plan and deep pockets to make it work.”

BATTLE FOR THE WEST
The NRL has enjoyed record ratings since the Dolphins were added to the competition as Queensland’s fourth franchise last year.

PNG, Perth and a second New Zealand team have been touted as potential new teams, but Grant says the NRL cannot underestimate the AFL’s growing power in Queensland.

The AFL is gaining momentum in a Sunshine State turf war and is targeting Brisbane’s western corridor, among the fastest growing regions in Australia.

The Brisbane Tigers have launched a $25 million bid to become the code’s 18th team and Grant believes a fifth Queensland club can wipe out the AFL in the battle of the west.

The Grant-David Gallop League Central regime first touted the Ipswich area as a possible expansion zone almost 15 years ago.

“That western corridor of Brisbane is traditional rugby league territory,” said Grant, a passionate Queenslander and former Test centre or winger who wore Maroon in 1972-73.

“That Ipswich-Toowoomba corridor is powerful rugby league heartland with great players coming out of it.

“If you talk about challenges, the AFL continues to be a significant threat to rugby league. The AFL has a lot of money. They don’t have the fractured relationship with their clubs that occurs in rugby league. Their clubs toe the line.

“The AFL is making huge investments in pathways and bringing kids into the game. They are focusing on the western corridor of Brisbane and other parts of Australia.

“We have to take notice of that, because if we want to expand, we need more growth and more players and you need the fans to support it.

“We have to watch the AFL very closely and that region (western corridor) is a point in that conversation.”
 

cinders7

Juniors
Messages
56
VIVA LAS VEGAS
Grant applauded the NRL’s historic trip to Las Vegas and believes it can be a key plank in the untapped potential of rugby league in the international space.

“I still watch the game and the product today is the most sensational thing to watch, either live or on television,” Grant said.

“The game is better than ever.

“Compared to other sporting products in Australia, it’s chalk and cheese.

“I remember we took a mid-year Test between England and New Zealand to Denver (in 2018). Without any promotion, we got 25,000 NFL fans at the game and it was one of those games that was a great advertisement for rugby league.

“Vegas is an opportunity, no question. I read that the intention is to maintain it for a five-year period. I think that’s absolutely what you have to do.

“You can’t do one-off sugar hits. You need to commit to doing it long-term and get buy-in and you have to underpin it with television in the States.

“The NRL competition is a magnet for the best players that come out of the Pacific region, but it’s offshore opportunities could be significant as well because it’s the game for our time.”

CONCUSSION FEARS
Queensland legend Wally Lewis recently revealed he has been diagnosed with probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disorder likely caused by repeated head injuries.

Mario Fenech and Ray Price are other league legends who have detailed their battle with early onset dementia.

The NRL has launched a crackdown on high shots, but Grant concedes the code could face the litigation issues that saw the NFL pay out $1.2 billion to more than 1600 athletes in a landmark settlement in 2015.

“Of course I’m concerned (by head knocks), who isn’t?” Grant said.

“But it’s a contact sport. If it’s going to happen, the protocols in place have to be robust.
“The Commission started this process and the way it has been continued (by the current leaders) is absolutely spot on.

“We are doing as good a job as anyone can be expected to do in a game which is a contact sport, where you are going to get accidents.

“The players have done a great job of taking out of the game anything intentional and doing their best to avoid accidents.

“We will always get head knocks and the risk of CTE for players has to be minimised.

“The problem with litigation is it can go back 20 years. There’s potential for it, but I haven’t seen a lot of movement in that space in Australian sport.

“Nothing is off the table I guess. And if it does happen, the NRL will have to deal with it.

“I think the NRL is doing a wonderful job and we must continue it.”

SIMPLY V’BEST
Grant says he is in awe of V’landys’ work ethic and drive, but admits every administrator faces an expiry date.

“Peter V’landys saved the game (during Covid), full stop,” he said.

“If he wasn’t the sort of person and administrator he is, who knows where the game would be. He showed in racing he is a crisis manager. The pandemic was awful, but it allowed Peter to be Peter V’landys. He just cut through the adversity and saved the game.

“It remains to be seen whether he can keep the clubs together because they are very powerful players in the rugby league political landscape. I hear people say, ‘What do the other commissioners do because it’s all Peter’.

“I think Peter might have a sense that his time is up. Chairs and CEOs in this game and in the corporate world, you have to have the right ones for the time the game is in. You need different approaches. Peter had the crash ‘em down mentality, driven all the time, driving to get outcomes, driving people in the workplace.

“That’s great at some times for an organisation and it doesn’t work at other times.

“We had a similar situation with Dave Smith as CEO. Dave was a bee in a bottle. He was very intelligent, very articulate and had great energy. But he burns things. He burnt people out because he was so driven. He did the job he needed to do for the time he was there, but then we needed a different style because the NRL had got to a certain level of performance.

“Peter has to ask himself the question I think. I don’t know how he has done those two jobs with the NRL and NSW Racing.

“I have had a couple of dealings with Peter on things and he is very decisive. That’s helpful. The NRL is known for being heavily bureaucratic and the leader not being that is a huge plus.

“Peter has been remarkable. I shake my head at his drive. But you can only do it for a certain length of time.”

WAYNE’S WORLD
Grant said the Dolphins have been a resounding success and he paid tribute to the coaching genius of Wayne Bennett.

“They have exceeded my expectations. They have been fantastic,” he said.

“Wayne Bennett has done a wonderful job.

“Redcliffe is a very serious rugby league area, it has a well-funded club and the Dolphins have been in the game a long time.

“They have a journey now going and they have to continue the recruitment process, but at least the club is based in an area (Redcliffe) that makes a lot of sense to players and supporters.

“When we sat down as a Commission to look at the next team, Redcliffe was a prominent candidate to be the next team for all of these reasons.

“I thought they would take longer to be successful, but they have hit the ground running and it’s a credit to Wayne Bennett.”
 

Jetka100

Juniors
Messages
90
I’m with him in terms of having a Brisbane/Ipswich team. I would make the licence conditional upon having 4 games a year in PNG backed by Federal Government funding and more money pumped into local pathways both in Western Brisbane and PNG. There is no way a stand alone PNG side is going to work in the short to medium term. All local derbies would be played in Brisbane and any game in Magic Round would be an away game.
 

MugaB

Coach
Messages
13,481
Hold on where on the article does John Grant say

"JOHN GRANT urges NRL to add a team in Ipswich/Logan"​


where?
Are you roping in Logan for your own piece of mind here...
He talks about Toowoomba and Ipswich, no where does he mention Logan
 
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Messages
14,483
Hold on where on the article does John Grant say

"JOHN GRANT urges NRL to add a team in Ipswich/Logan"​


where?
Are you roping in Logan for your own piece of mind here...
He talks about Toowoomba and Ipswich, no where does he mention Logan
Logan is part of the"western corridor".

Article mentioned the Brisbane Tigers.

Brisbane Tigers have four junior clubs in Logan.
 

ChrisKilis

Juniors
Messages
1
Former ARL Commission boss John Grant warns NRL of AFL threat amid expansion push to Brisbane’s western corridor

The first ARL Commission chairman, John Grant, has seen it all in rugby league and he has urged NRL bosses to make the right expansion calls in a turf war with the AFL.

Peter Badel
@badel_cmail
7 min read
May 5, 2024 - 6:00AM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom


Former ARL Commission boss John Grant has backed plans for a 20-team league and urged the NRL to consider a fifth Queensland team in Brisbane’s western corridor to combat the AFL threat.


The Courier Mail
did he not oversee the Crushers being kicked from the comp?
 

titoelcolombiano

First Grade
Messages
5,830
Yawn...

Not that we should take any heartland area for granted, but the AFL is taking nothing from the NRL out west - lol. This fear mongering over Ipswich is so overblown, it's as die-hard a RL area as you will get.

Besides, adding a team out of fear is the worst reason to add a team.
 

Jamberoo

Juniors
Messages
1,352
Yawn...

Not that we should take any heartland area for granted, but the AFL is taking nothing from the NRL out west - lol. This fear mongering over Ipswich is so overblown, it's as die-hard a RL area as you will get.

Besides, adding a team out of fear is the worst reason to add a team.
Is Brisbane similar to Sydney in that the AFL fans are concentrated in the inner city? Swans are mainly popular in the areas that used to be RU territory. Where do Lions fans live? I would have thought anywhere but the ‘western corridor‘.
 
Messages
14,483
Is Brisbane similar to Sydney in that the AFL fans are concentrated in the inner city? Swans are mainly popular in the areas that used to be RU territory. Where do Lions fans live? I would have thought anywhere but the ‘western corridor‘.
There aren't many fumbleball fans in Brisbane.

Having said that, I know two women from Logan who are obsessed with fumbleball.
 

Perth Red

Post Whore
Messages
67,083
Im confused? WB and Donkey keep telling us how AFL is a toothless tiger in Brisbane, Lions are basket case and they are no threat at all.
Now they are saying we need three NRl teams to combat their one?
which is it?
 
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