Tempting Players Back Home
“New Zealand’s incredible dominance of rugby league in recent years is paving the way for a second [local] team to enter an expanded NRL competition,” Daily Telegraph sports editor-at-large Phil Rothfield says. “Exactly 10 years after the Warriors went broke and almost folded, the World Champions, Four Nations trophy holders and now grand finalists are producing enough players in a population of almost 4.5 million to easily support two clubs. The same population in Sydney supports nine NRL clubs. The NRL has plans to expand the competition in 2015 and former Kiwi coach and Test halfback Gary Freeman believes a second New Zealand side should be based out of Wellington in the next three to five years. ‘I’d think you’d find a lot of New Zealand stars at NRL clubs would be tempted to go home,’ Freeman said.” The Warriors take on the Manly Sea Eagles in the NRL grand final day on 2 October.