The lower tiers should be a pathway to the NRL but it shouldn't be the only reason for them to exist.
If we did have a second division you would still want the fringe NRL players involved in some way. You could have a loan system where NRL clubs could loan their development players to NRL2 clubs with say minimum 3 month contracts. You could also have dual registration / feeder arrangements but with a limit on the number of dual registered players allowed each match.
So you could still have the pathways aspect, but just get away from the pure reggies / feeder club model.
Yeah, it's called feeder clubs