THE Western Corridor NRL bid team is not fazed by reports that rugby league expansion has been put on hold.
Media reports in the past week have suggested the Australian Rugby League Commission will not expand the competition to 18 teams in 2015 because of the NRL's 16-team format being in great shape as it currently exists.
Respected journalist and former Rugby League Week editor Tony Durkin said yesterday in his column for APN newspapers he was reliably informed that expansion was "off the agenda and it may well be up to a decade before the subject is revisited".
There are eight bid teams that have put their case forward to be included in an expanded competition. The commission is aware of all those bids and has met with some of their representatives recently.
The QT has been told expansion is still an option, but no final decision has been made.
"There has been no change to the position on expansion," an NRL spokesman told the QT.
"It is a strategic consideration for the game and one that will be considered as part of the commission's strategic planning process. We've talked about the fact that plan will be released later in the year and that remains the case."
Western Corridor NRL bid boss Steve Johnson said his team would continue with its plans.
He said the current broadcast rights holders held the key to expansion, and if Channel Nine and Fox Sports had bid for an extra game in the upcoming TV rights deal, then there would be extra teams.
Channel Nine and Fox Sports have made their secret bids for broadcast rights and when they are opened in early August it will become apparent whether they have put in extra funds for an expanded competition.
Heavyweights at Channel Nine have made it clear they were prepared to pay an extra $100 million over five years for an expanded game with an extra team playing out of Suncorp Stadium.
"It is the old story. The person writing the cheque has the most say in what occurs," Johnson said.
"But expansion will only happen if it is wanted by television."
EIGHT NRL BIDDERS
There are eight bid teams: PNG, Wellington, Western Corridor, Perth (two), Central Queensland, Brisbane Bombers and Central Coast.