State of Origin coaches Brad Fittler and Paul Green have raised concerns about the impact of travel and the integrity of the competition after the NRL's bold pitch to split it into conferences.
NRL clubs not based in Sydney are predicted to be the hardest hit by travel requirements in the organisation's radical plan of two nine-club conferences once the competition expands to 18 teams.
The idea has been a hit and miss with clubs depending on whether they would fall into the the Sydney conference - which encourages local rivalries - or the out-of-Sydney conference, which would carry a heavy burden of travel.
Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, the Warriors, the three Queensland teams and the two new clubs would fall into the latter category.
Fittler on Wednesday said the travel schedule for those clubs outside Sydney would be a disadvantage the ARL Commission would need to consider.
"Absolutely, without a doubt," he said.
"Travel can sometimes be a benefit, with players together a lot, so it depends where you are with your club, but over time I don't think travel is a good thing."
About half the NRL clubs have already been consulted by the game's bosses on the vision for the game's future, while others, such as Penrith and the Raiders have yet to be briefed.
Green knows how heavy the burden of travel can be on an NRL team having spent seven years in charge of Townsville-based North Queensland.
Under the radical proposal teams in each conference would play each other twice before playing each team in the other conference once.
In addition to the obvious concerns of fatigue and less preparation time, Green said both conferences need to be fairly weighted with the top teams so not to affect the integrity of the competition come finals.
"One of the things with any conference style is to make sure the two conferences are reasonably even, otherwise if you end up in a stronger conference or weaker one it's going to question the integrity of the comp," he said.
The conference system is one idea being explored as the game pushes towards expansion starting with the expected introduction of a second Brisbane team in 2023.
ARLC chairman Peter V'landys has distanced the NRL from expanding into Perth but on Wednesday commissioner Peter Beattie didn't rule out a push into Western Australia.
Speaking at the launch of the Origin series, which is set to start in Melbourne on June 9, the former ARLC chairman said they would consider all input from clubs, including the impact of travel, before making a decision.
"We've been for the past two years to Adelaide and Perth and that's about growing the game," he said.
"They've got a good local competition over there (in Perth) and they're obviously interested in having another team.
"All of those things have to be considered.
"There's a lot of things on the table, including Perth."