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Matty Johns’ plan for New Zealand’s second NRL franchise


Rugby league great Matty Johns has detailed how he would implement the NRL’s 18th franchise if he were in charge of the competition.

The NRL is reportedly weighing up whether to hand New Zealand a second side or create a Perth franchise when they complete their expansion to 18 teams.

With Super Rugby granting a license to a side made up of players who identify with Pacific island nations in 2022 called Moana Pasifika, Johns sees the NRL following a similar path.

“Yes, I do (think rugby league should follow the Moana Pasifika model),” Johns said on SEN 1170 Drive with Joel and Fletch.

“With a second New Zealand side, I would base them out of Wellington.

“I would split the home games between Wellington, Papua New Guinea and other areas in the Pacific.

“And I would call the side Pacifica, that would be my plan for the second New Zealand side.”

With a second Brisbane side all but certain enter the competition in 2023 the 18th side will reportedly come into the league three years later in 2026.

Listen to the full chat with Johns here.

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