NRL to confirm decider venue imminently

·2-min read

A "once in a lifetime" experience for Queensland rugby league fans looks set to be confirmed this week when the NRL's grand final venue is locked in.

Finals begin this weekend on the Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Rockhampton while Mackay is also in line to host crucial post-season games next weekend.

With teams based in the Sunshine State since July due to NSW's COVID-19 outbreak it appears inevitable Suncorp Stadium will be rewarded with the showpiece fixture on October 3.

"We are continuing to work with the Queensland Government and NSW Government and hoping to announce the location of the grand final by the end of the week," Australian Rugby League Commission member Kate Jones, a former senior state government minister, said.

"'I've been on the record since we opened Suncorp Stadium saying this is the best rugby league stadium in the country.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a grand final here in Queensland at Suncorp Stadium.

"It's something we have been asking for for years, it'd be amazing to see that come to fruition."

Meanwhile she said there would be clarity on the NRL's expansion efforts "in a matter of weeks" after bids pitched to the ARLC last month.

Redcliffe Dolphins, Brisbane Firehawks and the Brisbane Jets are jostling for entry.

Jones said a decision either way on an extra team in 2023 needed to be made by November 1 and that after sneaking into the finals, the Gold Coast's concerns of cannibalism had been received.

"We want to make sure given the long road they've been on we continue to support them in their growth," she said.

"We've seen the potential of the Titans and want to see them thrive.

"But there's been significant growth in Queensland, new suburbs created and it'll continue in the next 10 years.

"We don't want to see AFL getting a strong foothold into areas we'd consider rugby league heartland."

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