WA muster support for NRL franchise  



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Government to back up Perth-based NRL team Image: NRL

Western Australia (WA) has kicked off a campaign for a State-based National Rugby League (NRL) franchise beyond 2023.

‘perth now’ stated that work is now underway to find a third party bid the Labor Government can support, amid expectations that the NRL will expand to 18 teams from 17 after the next season.

Sydney (Australia)-based the National Rugby League (NRL) is an Australasian rugby league club competition which contains clubs from New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, and New Zealand.

‘perth now’ further stated that a cross-agency Government Working Group chaired by Labor MP Peter Tinley has been set up to support the development of a third-party bid and assist the bid through the potential bidding process.

Preliminary work has already begun with consultants Freshwater Strategy to determine interest from potential third parties and the most appropriate bid structure, the Government said recently.

Sport and Recreation Minister David Templeman said the two recent sellout State of Origin matches showed there was a strong and growing appetite for rugby league in Western Australia – “A Western Australia-based NRL team would bring long-term community, tourism and economic benefits to the State and grow local participation in grassroots sport, particularly female participation. Although the State Government won’t be leading the bid or be responsible for a potential franchise, we are confident that there will be a strong and compelling case for a Western Australia-based team.”

The State of Origin series is an annual best-of-three rugby league series between the two Australian State representative sides, the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons.

Community rugby league in Western Australia currently numbers 4,100 registered players.

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