Firehawks, Jets NRL merger smart: V'landys

·2-min read

Peter V'landys admits a combined bid from Brisbane Jets and Firehawks would give them a stronger chance of landing the licence for a 17th NRL team over hot favourites Redcliffe.

The Australian Rugby League Commission chairman told 2GB on Friday morning that while Redcliffe's bid has huge financial backing, a merger between two rivals Jets and the Firehawks was the smart way to challenge the Dolphins.

"We'll wait and see what might happen, sometimes these merger talks do fall over but it would certainly make the bid a lot stronger than it currently is," V'landys said.

Earlier this week all three Queensland clubs presented their bids to the ARLC and NRL bosses for inclusion in the competition in 2023 or 2024.

The Dolphins are considered front-runners to win the licence with the most money in the bank, but the Jets and Firehawks have begun due diligence for an amalgamation.

The merger would create a super bid of fiscal power across areas with high participation rates south and west of Brisbane.

"It's a very smart thing to do, by combining they have a more powerful bid and much more money behind them," V'landys said.

"One of the real assets of the Redcliffe bid is the cash they can put into the game and valuable assets they have and the great membership of a new audience.

Growing the game in Queensland is the ultimate goal.

New eyeballs on rugby league is an important factor to convince V'landys and the ARLC to add a fourth team into Queensland.

"If we are to go ahead with a 17th team in Brisbane it's got to bring a new audience in," he said.

"It's got to take a casual fan and turn them into a rusted-on rugby league fan.

"It's no good taking fans from the Broncos or the Titans, they've got to follow a team.

"They've got to be new. They've got to have a new tribalism and they've got to reinvigorate Brisbane rugby league and that's what we're looking for."

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