New NRL commission fails to plug all the holes.

By Daniel Andruczyk

Sunday 29th November I woke up to the amazing news that all the governing bodies of Rugby League in Australia will finally come under the direction of one all controlling commission. Woo Hoo I said! But as I read the fine print there was one very glaring and obvious part missing, one that will still hamper the development of Rugby League in this nation.

The Details

So here is the link to an article on the new commission:

So here is a brief summary of what will happen

  1. An in dependent commission to be set up to run the game.
  2. News Limited to sell its controlling share of the NRL and leave the sport, though it will retain its share in the Brisbane Broncos.
  3. Selling of the Melbourne Storm.
  4. The 16 existing clubs will now “own” the game taking an equal share in the profits of the premiership after grants to the NSWRL, QRL and CRL.
  5. By 2013 another two clubs will be added with at least one being from Queensland. This is meant to increase the bargaining power for TV.
  6. The ARL will become the ARLC (Australian Rugby League Commission) and the NSW and QLD cups will come under this but still oversee their competitions.
  7. David Gallop will remain Chief executive for 3-5 years while Colin Love will become Chairman for 2 years.

This is meant to ensure the survival of all the clubs and also to help the next round of TV contracts to attract a larger amount of revenue and I believe that it will, but not the maximum amount of revenue.

What is missing

Above I have highlighted a section of the 4th point which I feel shows still the lack of forward thinking and the us and them mentality that exists in this country when it comes to Rugby League.

What is happening with the other 5 state governing bodies? That is the Western Australian Rugby League (WARL), South Australian Rugby League (SARL), Victorian Rugby League (VRL) Northern Territory Rugby League (NTRL) and Tasmanian Rugby League (TasRL). Will they see any of the money that will come from this independent commission? No where have I read or seen anything about them.

These are the forgotten rugby league states. Remember that these rugby league bodies are quite old in this country. The South Australian, West Australians and Victorians have been playing state comps and touring teams from day one and over the years have been severely screwed by the ARL and NRL with a lack of development and as far as I can see it still seems to be the case.

New teams

So its has been said that by 2013 there will be two new teams with Central Coast and a second Queensland team, most probably in the Brisbane area, getting the nod. So this effectively kills off the Perth Bid and Central Queensland Bids.

I am still at a loss as to why the Perth bid keeps getting knocked back by the NRL. Surely the “N” in the title of the National Rugby League is means to be that, not the “East Cost of Australia and New Zealand” Rugby League, because that is what is happening.

I know many have the nostalgia for the Bears and the Central Coast being a heartland team, but the Perth side I feel would bring in so much more money and making the competition truly national. And what makes another Brisbane team better than capturing all the talent in the Central Queensland area. Is this the direct answer to the AFL. I have not even heard of a Greater Brisbane team being touted yet. However I see that there are two possible solutions to these dilemmas:

  1. One of the NSW teams will have to go, and forcibly probably. This will make way for the Central Coast and thus leaving two spots for the Queensland and Perth teams … or
  2. expand the competition to 20 teams. The current 16 teams with Central Coast, Perth, Central Queensland and a second Brisbane team. I would also have the Nth Queensland Cowboys play 3-4 matches out of Darwin and rename themselves the North Australian Cowboys.

Both solution I feel offer a greater chance of maximising the national TV deal since it now truly covers almost all of Australia. This is the best way to combat the AFL. The North Australian Cowboys idea is a sound one since the Cowboys already are signing some of the Junior Talent from the Territory.


It is great to finally see that the Australian Rugby League is getting its act together to have one governing body, but it is still a worry to see that the state leagues that are not the CRL, QRL and NSWRL still seem to be neglected. The two new teams that will be brought into the fold in 2013 “have” to include one from Perth. This is the only way to increase the Credibility of the port in this country and defend against the AFL. As the old saying goes “The best form of defence is offence”.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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