What the NRL must do before an 18th team

1 week ago 13

The NRL appears to beryllium afloat steam up to present an 18th squad into the competition, having lone conscionable approved a 17th licence which was won by the Dolphins, announced this week.

The Dolphins volition participate the apical league successful 2023 and the governing assemblage is already readying to adhd 1 much squad to the NRL successful a substance of years.

But rugby league fable Darren Lockyer has implored those successful complaint of the crippled to bolster the little people competitions successful NSW and Queensland earlier expanding the athletics astatine the apical end.

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He believes the NRL could bash much to turn the illustration of the NSW Cup and Queensland Cup - tally separately by the 2 state's respective rugby league office - successful bid to efficaciously grow the scope of top-flight rugby league, without needfully adding teams to the elite competition.

"I deliberation the Intrust Cup teams successful some respective states, they request to beryllium resourced properly," Lockyer told Wide World of Sports.

NRL admits Dolphins arsenic 17th team

"If they are stronger successful their communities past that helps our game, due to the fact that NRL teams can't beryllium everyplace crossed the country, but you tin person your 2nd tier competitions wherever kids aspire to play determination arsenic well.

"There's nary uncertainty having an NRL squad creates an aspiration oregon an inspiration. But I deliberation we tin besides put successful the second-tier competitions.

"That's different mode to rise the consciousness of games, rise the professionalism and the marque of those peculiar clubs.

"Creating that pathway for a kid successful cardinal Queensland... truthful what is that close now? And that's wherever I deliberation arsenic a full game, however bash we maximise the opportunities for our kids crossed the country?

"I cognize the NRL invests successful the Intrust Cup, but I deliberation there's an accidental determination if we privation to support increasing our game, you don't needfully person to enactment an NRL squad successful that market. It's astir enhancing what is already there.

"Make it thing that a kid coming done wants to beryllium a portion of, which is simply a segue into the NRL."

NRL CEO connected wherefore the codification is welcoming caller team

Lockyer - who is 1 of Brisbane's top ever players, and is present a Broncos manager - welcomed the summation of the Dolphins to the NRL.

Those 2 clubs volition beryllium successful nonstop competition, adjacent sharing Suncorp Stadium arsenic a location venue contempt the Dolphins being based astatine Moreton Daily Stadium north-east of Brisbane.

It means inferior players successful that country person different NRL squad to aspire to, and Lockyer says it volition summation contention for the state's champion talent.

"There's nary uncertainty it makes it harder (it motion the champion talent). But I deliberation it besides makes you effort harder, too," helium said.

"I conjecture you've got to look astatine your ain systems and spot however we tin bash it better. The Dolphins person already got a fanbase, they volition pull a fanbase, and it's a maturation country successful south-east Queensland.

"We've got to bash what we bash now, but bash it better.

"Sometimes what happens astatine the elite level besides impacts the kids coming done successful the juniors. If the apical squad is doing good that evidently helps."

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