New NRL club backing for Ipswich
FORMER Toowoomba Clydesdales and Queensland State of Origin player David Stagg has called for the western corridor region from Ipswich to Toowoomba to host the next NRL club.
Canterbury Bulldogs’ lock Stagg, who has an advanced diploma in civil engineering, played several seasons with the Clydesdales when he was a Brisbane Broncos’ youngster.
The Western Corridor NRL bid will call the area from Ipswich west to Toowoomba home and will use the Clydesdales and the Ipswich Jets as Queensland Cup feeder clubs if granted a NRL licence.
Stagg, an NRL veteran now at 28, has been unlucky to only play one State of Origin match, in 2006.
He said the western corridor’s population boom made it the ideal base for a new rugby league franchise.
“I would like to see another Queensland side,” Stagg said.
“I think the game can cope with it and I think Ipswich has the numbers there.
“Growing up in Queensland, I know the love of football and rugby league is strong.
“I played for the Toowoomba Clydesdales, so I know the passion for footy is there.
"When you take into account the growth of the western corridor, it makes sense.”
Stagg and his Canterbury Bulldogs team mates toured the flood devastated region of Lockyer Valley on Saturday.
Bulldogs CEO Todd Greenberg handed a $100,000 cheque to Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Steve Jones and met flood victims at a barbecue at Cahill Park in Gatton.
But Bulldogs fullback sensation Ben Barba said the Central Queensland region should host an NRL club to halt the constant relocation of talented rugby league teenagers.
The electric Barba had to leave rural northern Queensland for the hustle of Sydney aged 17 to get a start in the NRL.
The Bulldogs recruited Barba from the Northern Suburbs club in Mackay midway through 2007.
He has gone on to become a true superstar of the game with his lightning feet dazzling opponents this year and drawing the praise of State of Origin selectors.
Barba said basing a team in Central Queensland would help keep home grown talent in the region.
“They have a team from the north and from the south, it is probably only right they have one from Central Queensland,” Barba said.
“It saves a lot of young kids moving to Sydney and getting homesick.
“It would help to keep the talent local.”