Consultant to the western corridor NRL bid Brian Canavan.
Consultant to the western corridor NRL bid Brian Canavan. Sarah Harvey

Positive sign for bid

THE fact that NRL boss David Gallop has praised a rival NRL bid team is actually good news for Ipswich’s hopes of securing a club licence, Ipswich bid consultant Brian Canavan says.

Gallop has conceded that a second rugby league team in Brisbane is “on the cards” at some point in the future.

On Monday, the NRL chief executive met with members of a consortium proposing a second side in the Queensland capital if the league expands in 2013.

He said the bid was still in its early stages, but the energy of the group, led by former Thoroughbreds chairman Craig Davison, was undeniable.

The Thoroughbreds, a group of Brisbane businessmen, support Brisbane rivals the Broncos.

“It was useful to put a face to media speculation,” Mr Gallop said.

“Expansion is not on the agenda but we have said we expect to review that position in the latter half of 2011.

“The strength of the game in Queensland, the population growth that is expected in south-east Queensland, those are factors that would have to say that a second team out of Brisbane at some point would be on the cards.”

Ipswich NRL bid team consultant Brian Canavan, a former chief executive of the Sydney Roosters, said the news was excellent for Ipswich’s hopes.

“What Gallop means is that the south-east Queensland area is ripe for an NRL team,” Canavan said. “It’s fantastic news for our bid because there is just so much interest from people in and around Brisbane in having a new team.

“The interest from south-east Queensland cannot be ignored by the NRL.”

The Brisbane and Ipswich bids are just two of the five contenders.

Other bidders

Central Coast: States a world-class stadium and a long tradition of rugby league support as the reasons an NRL team should be based in the region.

Central Queensland: Has a wealth of corporate backing. But the region is not favoured by commercial broadcasters who do not want to travel to Rockhampton to cover matches.

Perth: Has a ready-made stadium suited to rugby league and would adhere to Gallop’s mantra of growing the game.



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