What's new
The Front Row Forums

Register a free account today to become a member of the world's largest Rugby League discussion forum! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Pacific NRL Bid

Messages
10,489

Plans are afoot for rugby league to follow the lead of Super Rugby and introduce a Pasifika team to the NRL competition.

Just days after Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese raised the prospect of forming an NRL team to represent the Pacific Islands during a visit to Fiji, The Sun-Herald can reveal that the initiative is being considered by a prospective Papua New Guinea-led franchise.



The development comes at a time when the NRL is seeking $60 million in federal government funding to help grow the sport in the region.
Former Bulldogs and Rugby League World Cup boss Andrew Hill has been tasked with driving PNG’s bid to become the next NRL franchise. Given it is unlikely that PNG will earn the league’s 18th licence as a stand-alone entity, one of the options being explored is forming a super bid comprising players and resources from PNG, Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands and Fiji.

“A Pacific option is definitely being considered,” Hill told The Sun-Herald. “There’s three options: a PNG outright team, a partnership model and a Pacific model.
“The PNG government is very genuine in getting an NRL licence based in PNG, whatever option is being considered.

“The PNG bid will look at every opportunity to bring more content to PNG, that’s the primary goal of our bid. A Pacific team is gathering support and if there’s an opportunity to lead that bid, then we will absolutely consider that as a viable option.

“We’ve seen how engaged our players across the NRL are in representing their Pacific heritage, culture and families. That passion the players have is getting stronger and gathering momentum.

“We’ve seen in Super Rugby recently that they have taken the jump over rugby league and established a Pasifika team. Whilst we think rugby league in the Pacific is far stronger, it gives us the confidence to discuss what a Pacific team might look like.
“Obviously PNG would be leading those discussions, but clearly the genuine goal of the PNG government is to get more content in PNG and a licence based in PNG.”
Albanese watched the deciding State of Origin game with PNG Prime Minister James Marape on Wednesday night as part of the Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji. Speaking to reporters during the trip, Albanese expressed a desire for the region to have its own NRL team and to host State of Origin matches.
“I’ve had discussions with the NRL, very directly, and I have spoken to [ARL Commission chairman] Peter V’landys and [NRL chief executive] Andrew Abdo about the Pacific’s engagement with rugby league,” Albanese said during the visit.
“It would be a good thing if we gave consideration about how you get a Pacific team, a team with connections to PNG, Tonga, Samoa.”


The Australian government is investing heavily in the Pacific at a time when China is making its presence felt in the region. Gas, mineral and resources companies, including Shell, Exxon, Santos and TotalEnergies, are prominent in the area and could be prepared to support the expansion of rugby league.
PNG is the only country where rugby league is the national sport and the NRL is keen for retired players to help further the game in its schools.
The team behind the PNG bid is independent of any political party, with all sides of politics expected to back the bid regardless of the final results from the controversial national elections.
Players of Pasifika heritage make up of 45 per cent of the NRL’s playing ranks, at a time when Tonga is No.2 in the global rankings, ahead of Australia. Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, PNG and Cook Islands are expected to field strong teams in the upcoming World Cup, an opportunity to further highlight the influence of the Pacific.

The NRL has indicated a desire to eventually expand to 18 teams just as Moana Pasifika begins to make its mark on the Super Rugby competition.
 

DIOGENES

Juniors
Messages
1,178
If the government is going to pay for it - why not. Enough money for a good team AND a diplomatic powerplay

(Of course the government is only flapping its lips - it’s not going to pay for it)
 

DIOGENES

Juniors
Messages
1,178
Australia must act quickly. There are rumours that China is planning to admit a PNG team in their Australian Rules competition
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Vee

Perth Red

Post Whore
Messages
52,956
If the government is going to pay for it - why not. Enough money for a good team AND a diplomatic powerplay

(Of course the government is only flapping its lips - it’s not going to pay for it)
Sure if they’re going to front up $200mill to cover the clubs losses for the next 15 years then it’s a goer lol
 

MugaB

First Grade
Messages
6,277
Sure if they’re going to front up $200mill to cover the clubs losses for the next 15 years then it’s a goer lol
It will get more players involved into the NRL than a perth team will, i doubt very much the talent pool coming out of perth is better than what PNG is able to dish up
 

Perth Red

Post Whore
Messages
52,956
It will get more players involved into the NRL than a perth team will, i doubt very much the talent pool coming out of perth is better than what PNG is able to dish up
Totally agree, shame it’s totally unfeasible though.
 

Canard

Immortal
Messages
30,225
Where in that article is there any quote or comment about the "Gubbnit" paying for it???

And the quote that RL is bigger then Union in the Pacific Islands, what??
 

DIOGENES

Juniors
Messages
1,178
Of course the government is not going to pay - for one thing the reaction in the lesser states would cost votes

We can safely say that League is bigger than Union in Melanesia but that is about it
 

Wb1234

Bench
Messages
4,190
Can’t believe union were stupid enough to lump those teams together

it’s just another northern eagles

the only big that makes sense is a joint cairns png bid with the federal government investing in it for geopolitical reasons
 

Perth Red

Post Whore
Messages
52,956
Well there’s no Perth bid either yet there’s a 2700 pg thread about it
There is at least one Perth consortium bid team announced and 2 others have expressed an interest in bidding previously.
PNG has just launched its bid team with no mention of Cairns.
Only bid interest we have had for NZ so far is for Wellington
"The" Bears are ready to bid as a travelling NSW circus unless they can hitch themselves to someone with a chance

As an avid thread contributor Id have thought you'd have known all this already!
 

Wb1234

Bench
Messages
4,190
There is at least one Perth consortium bid team announced and 2 others have expressed an interest in bidding previously.
PNG has just launched its bid team with no mention of Cairns.
Only bid interest we have had for NZ so far is for Wellington
"The" Bears are ready to bid as a travelling NSW circus unless they can hitch themselves to someone with a chance

As an avid thread contributor Id have thought you'd have known all this already!
Have you ever said anything good about any expansion team / bid that wasn’t Perth ?

see guys like me and mugab we are just genuine rugby league fans happy for the game wherever the big boss decides to expand too
 

Perth Red

Post Whore
Messages
52,956
Have you ever said anything good about any expansion team / bid that wasn’t Perth ?

see guys like me and mugab we are just genuine rugby league fans happy for the game wherever the big boss decides to expand too
Plenty, I said Brisbane2 was a no brainer, I think NZ2 has some great potential if you can overcome population size and corporate support and may be a good spot for club 19, I think PNG would be amazing but is sadly unlikely unless the NRL becam ethe AFl and was willing to throw $25-30mill at it a year. Adelaide is no where near and needs a decade at least of decent investment and support before being considered.
Probably only THE Bears in NSW that I think is an absolutely terrible idea with no real merit.
Perth will have plenty of challenges and should only be club 18 if it has the right people behind it with the right resources.
I'd love NRL to be more like AFL when it comes to expansion but it isnt and so that increases the risks for any new club without a pokie den.
 

Latest posts

Top