Don’t force the NRL to expand to Western Australia

David Baird Roar Rookie

By , David Baird is a Roar Rookie

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    Since the ARU made its decision to remove the Western Force from the Super Rugby competition, rugby league fans have been screaming at the NRL to expand there, and on the surface, it makes total sense.

    It’s a new market for the rugby league market to crack. Simply put, it would finally put the ‘N’ in NRL. Furthermore, it could help with the sliding TV ratings and scheduling.

    However, this opportunity comes at a time when the NRL is at its weakest and quite frankly doesn’t have the resources to do it.

    Firstly, there is the financial side, the NRL has just been rejected for another large loan, a big slide from the days of Dave Smith and the big spending that was going on.

    How can the NRL expand and invest in a new franchise when it has failed to assist the Gold Coast Titans and finally, when it did invest with the Titans, didn’t do anything by growing its junior ranks and competitions?

    Instead, the Titans decided to sign Jarryd Hayne in the hope it would bring in money. An attempted quick fix or what?!

    That is the NRL’s biggest factor, the juniors. Ask anyone with knowledge of both rugby codes, rugby league is simply a better developer of its players at a junior level. It develops young talent like no one other sport and it’s a huge reason as to why Sydney has sustained so many teams for so long.

    Both parents and kids are more than likely to be a part of a program if they know someone who has successfully gone through it. This is where passion and love for the game begins, are you really going to care for a team just because they stick it there and say here it is?

    It hasn’t worked for the Gold Coast Titans, though, has it?

    Jarryd Hayne Gold Coast Titans NRL Rugby League 2016 b

    (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

    Now you can say it’s the club’s fault and, in a way, yes it is. But a new club needs time to grow, it needs a backbone, one of which the NRL currently lacks. It’s too focused on telling us what it’s doing right and how it has improved the game, rather than listening to us, the fans.

    Look at the bunker and refs, there have been no solutions other than we created that much-criticised review system. Have the fans, (or commentators for that matter) really welcomed any changes to the game after this technological development?

    The answer is no. The criticism has been largely ignored by the current administration, or we get a “sorry we were wrong” and then it’s back to work putting out the next fire.

    Say what you will about Dave Smith, he wasn’t the best by any means, but at least he tried to think ahead, and grow the game.

    I’m begging the NRL to stay out of Western Australia. It will only do more harm than good.

    If there are ever plans to expand into the Western Australian market, they need to make sure there’s a new crop of administrators and there is actually a solid plan to move forward.

    The people of Western Australia and rugby league supporters deserve it.

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