Perth shaping up as most likely NRL expansion team: “It all makes a bit of sense.”

Home >Sports >Perth shaping up as most likely NRL expansion team: “It all makes a bit of sense.”

Perth is now the leading candidate to secure the NRL’s 18th license, with a team potentially joining the competition by as early as 2027 or 2028.

The Australian Rugby League Commission will finalise their expansion plans in a meeting on Wednesday before State of Origin II in Melbourne.

A Papua New Guinea team was previously considered first pick; however, Perth’s bid is now seen as more compelling for the NRL.

It has been rumoured that the new side would be a partnership with either the North Sydney Bears or Newtown Jets, with some of the Perth side’s home games to be played in Sydney.

Cash Converters executive chairman Peter Cumins is leading a WA consortium for a Perth NRL franchise, and he has said they would prefer a standalone bid.

Speaking on 6PR Perth Live, Cumins said: “Our preference is still to go it alone, but we’ve got to be sensible here and listen to both the Bears and the Jets have got to say…

“If we’re in the race for the 18th team as we hope, at least we will know what it is they are offering Western Australia. We’re in a position to go quickly, we’ve been looking forward to this day for quite some time.”

Dolphins v Roosters HBF Park

NRL legend and Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett has given Perth his backing to be part of a potential NRL expansion in the lead-up to his team playing the Sydney Roosters in Perth this August.

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 “I believe Perth should be one of the expansion teams,” Bennett said. “We will have 20 teams in the next decade in the competition. Australia is getting bigger every day. That is how it works.”

He added that Perth’s diverse population, alongside some great sporting facilities make it a logical choice.

“They are very rugby league-aware now and have had a lot of teams over there and Origin games,” he said. “It is a huge area of income. They have got some of the biggest companies in Australia in Perth and Western Australia. It all makes a bit of sense, and they have got great facilities.”

The people of Perth have a chance to show their rugby league fandom soon, when the Queensland-based Dolphins and Sydney Roosters go head-to-head at HBF Park on Friday 2 August – more info/tickets here.

Image Credit: Venueswest/Tourism WA