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“If there’s certainty, we can wait”: Perth NRL bid Chairman discusses chances of expansion in WA


Chair of the Perth consortium aiming to get an NRL team, Peter Cummins has admitted his group is very eager to get the next available licence from ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys in the next couple of months.

Talk of expansion in the NRL has ramped up over the last couple of days after reports emerged that V’Landys and his commission would start taking applicants for the next NRL licence in June.

SEN’s Michelle Bishop has recently stated her extreme confidence that the 18th license would go to a Papua New Guinea-based side, leaving other hopefuls, including Perth facing a lengthy wait for another chance.

V’landys has been very vocal in his desire to see a 20-team competition, meaning that a Perth-based bid is likely to occupy one of the licenses but the timeline on those is largely unknown.

“From our point of view, sooner rather than later,” Cummins told SEN 1170 Mornings.

“But having said that, we understand that if PNG comes in first it could 19th or 20th team and that’s going to be probably a bit further away.

“As long as we have some clear direction and we’ve got the confidence to go full steam ahead, a long leading time wouldn’t be unhelpful.

“Our preference is to go sooner rather than later.

“If there’s certainty, we can wait and that’s really been the issue for us, is the uncertainty, if we’ve got certainty we can start to build pathways for our juniors, we can start to recruit players to come into Western Australia that wants to get on to the roster for a couple years from now.

“We can start doing a lot of prep work and get ourselves in a strong position.”

When asked if his consortium would accept a return on the basis of a joint venture with either the Newtown Jets or North Sydney Bears, Cummins responded: “You’re probably aware that Western Australians are very parochial, on the basis of that we feel the best result would be a Western Australian team exclusively.”

“Having said that, because we’ve been patiently waiting for such a long time, if it was a requirement to have a coalition with the Bears or the Newtown Jets or somebody we’d look at it seriously.

“Our preference is a standalone team, but we wouldn’t discount dealing or doing something with the Bears if it was the best result for Western Australia.”

An NRL team in Perth prior to 2030 is looming as an increasingly likely outcome, ending a 30+ year hiatus of a professional rugby league team in Western Australia.

Listen to the full chat below.

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