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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15 Responses to “New NRL commission fails to plug all the holes.”

  1. Joel says:

    CQ is a definite within the next 10 years (hopeful for 2013), being from CQ, I know we have the passion, development of juniors and the fans.
    Although the NRL board could be city centric so will be hard to get past them. Currently West Brisbane virtually has no bid team, yet NRL are all gun hoe over them

    • druzik says:

      Joel I agree thatthe CQ bid will be there within 10 years though I dont see why it cant be the 4th team. Brown park holds about 8,000 but could easliy be expanded to 12,000 from what I have seen of the stadium. It would provide a nice Derby match with Nth QLD and Brisbane as well. The country areas are usually the forgotten few when it comes to Rugby League. Mayches like State of Origin and the Grand Final pull upto 3 million viewers in the Capital cities, the country areas easily match or exceed these viewerships. Its why I think we need to be a bit smarter about these franchises and where they come from.

  2. oikee says:

    This is a real nusiance, one that has everyone excited, yet could deliver little, or alot. On the one hand, you have the option of expansion, and plenty of areas to expand, (and end up with little money again), or, you can leave expansion alone, build up the salary cap to a point where we can compete with other codes, and have heaps for a warchest at a later date to expand. 2017-8 .
    The only other option is expand and make sure the expanded teams can afford to survive, around 25 million a year needed, so if you dont have a leagues club, or no big backer, you will miss out. So the only team ready is Central Bears, and they have a stadium, most important.

    • druzik says:

      Well I think you can increase your money with expansion. But you need to be smart with your expansion areas. I think greater good would come out Perth and another QLD team where. Central Coast I know is a heartland area but that part of the world is getting so congested with teams… but you never know.

      Now there is this talk of the PNG bid… the most absurd thing I have heard. The best way to kill Rugby league in that country would be to have that bid. Like you say Oikee it can be upto $25 million to have a team and that kind of money can be better spent on improving the facilities and pay in the PNG competition and bring them better upto speed.

      The ultimate solution would be to have a Challeng Cup style knokout comp where not only the NRL teams ply but also the champions form the state leagues, PNG NZ and country leagues. I will speak more about this in thursdays blog when I talk about a revamp of the NRL

  3. oikee says:

    Yes i see your popint Drusik, which is why i think Colin Love needs to be on the board for at least 2 years. He understands the workings of these other state teams, and the importance of having them in the game. But with more money in the bank, they can sink more into these areas, as they do, but very little. Just found out the NRL does get 2.5 million a year from government. Cheers.

  4. Robbo says:

    I would love to see a Challenge Cup style comp here in Australasia, have teams from QRL, NSWRL, WARL, VRL, PNG, NZ play in the 1st couple of rounds and then introduce the NRL sides to the comp in later rounds. Imagine the experience some of the lesser clubs would get and a chance to play against the big boys.

    • druzik says:

      Yes I think that would be feasable and a great way to promote the game through the busha dn countries like PNG and NZ… NRL would just swamp and Kill the Local comps, but having a incentive like th CC would give other teams the incentive to locally get better and invest in the local comp to get them upto scratch with the other teams.

      Thursday I will have a blog on it.

      • oikee says:

        Dont just have ablog on it Druzik, send the damm thing straight to the NRL headquarters, or to Colin Love. Its a better idea because their is to many areas wanting expansion, its become ridiculass.
        So far we have sunshine coast, central qld, extra brisbane team, png, another NZ team, Perth, Aderlaide will want a team, Bears want back, not to mention the islands, and probably another melbourne team next decade. Gawd Blimey. You just cant have them all.

      • druzik says:

        Oh I have chatted with several NRL and RLIF people over the years and it seems they feel you encraoch and step on their feet more than anything. But i guess its something that you slowly need to work on talking to them. I am taking the approach of getting moer involved from the admin point of view in RL now. Try and get cred that way.

        Looks like the current NRL clubs dont want exansion which would be a blow to the ones coming in. If I were to rank which teams need to come in then:
        1. Central Coast
        2. Perth
        3. Central Queensland
        4. 2nd Brsibane Team
        5. Adelaide
        6. New Zealand
        7 PNG

  5. Bruce says:

    The problem is sqeezing so much footy into a season and still having the dollar returned. How much bigger can the pot grow? My suggestion would be for the implementation of a 2 division competition – North & South. Both divisions would consist of 8 teams and each division would play home/away against same divisional rival (14 matches). They would also play the other division once (home/away alternate seasons). An additional 8 matches, a 22 match pre-finals season. This would allow for 3 designated weekends for SOO so that teams could recuperate and rest weary players,spread over the majority of the season. The final series would be played by the 4 leading teams intra-division and the divisional winners would play off for the Grand Final. This system allows players to rest and still keeps the season at a manageable time frame.

    • druzik says:

      I think the NRL is already split into conferences sort of. But each year the teams change in the groups. Though we have 26 rounds, all teams only play 24 rounds actually. So a 22 round season could work, it used to didn’t it.

  6. C.T.SANDERS says:


  7. Im involved with the Tasmanian Rugby League as the coach of the Hobart Tigers and the State team. The ARL have appointed a Development Officer into the State and this should be up and running by the end of January. We currently have 4 senior teams and hope to increase this to 6 within the next two years. We will also be working on some teams from the Nth of the State such as Launceston and Burnie. We need juniors desperately, and the first age groups we need to establish are the under 17’s. This will allow players to come into the senior teams quickly. We also need a lot of publicity and support from Rugby League press and League lovers. We play in the summer, the comp starts in November and finishes in February. We are holding a State game in March with a visiting team from Melbourne involved. The Melbourne Storm will also be attending Tasmania in February for the community carnival, which will be a great boost for the game. Also looking at trial matches from NRL clubs in the State. So things are starting to happen, but we just need to take small steps and get it right

    • druzik says:

      MIck that is great to hear, and its great to hear that the ARL is getting involved. Hopefully the new commission will continue this. I just have been worried that everything that we have heard that states like tasmania will fall by the side with it.

      But I hope that things in Tasmania will keep going up and up. Cartainly email me and keep us up on the details of whats happening there.

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