OPINION: Richo holds key to NRL bid chances

IT would be great to know what plans NRL head of strategy Shane Richardson has for expansion right now. He isn't giving too much away.

Ipswich is holding its breath hoping that the NRL will announce plans to expand the competition to 18 teams in 2018 when the next TV deal is struck and that the Western Corridor bid gets the green light to be one of those sides. From what we are hearing, Richardson wants to expand the game.

He has made few public comments on the issue but an interview he gave to leading Daily Telegraph league writer Phil Rothfield earlier this year is worth noting

"We've got to expand," Richardson told Rothfield.

"I'm not so concerned about the number of teams, it's the number of fixtures. The bigger the expansion the better it is for the TV networks.

"I think Western Australia deserves a side, we need another team in South-East Queensland and New Zealand is crying out for another team. The opportunities there in the next media deal are huge."

I asked Richardson earlier in the year when I bumped into him in the bowels of Suncorp Stadium whether he would give me a comment about Ipswich's chances and he said the next time he spoke on the issue would be to the entire rugby league community. We are waiting with bated breath.

The Western Corridor bid has its supporters at the NRL. Hopefully Richo is one of them.


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