Rugby eyes Gold Coast for expansion

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by snoopy snoopy dog dog, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. Australian rugby could be on a collision course with the AFL by creating a new Gold Coast team in 2011.

    Australian Rugby Union chief John O'Neill today said the Gold Coast was a possible location for a new Super rugby entity.

    He said any new team was unlikely until 2011 - the same year the AFL plans a Gold Coast team.

    O'Neill today described the AFL as "the gorilla in the room", recognising their cashed up ambitions in traditional rugby heartlands.

    But he pledged the Australian Rugby Union would "look after our backyard and maybe open a new market".

    O'Neill said there was potential for a Super team in Japan and "we could put a Super rugby team in Melbourne down the track, possibly the Gold Coast as well".

    "The earliest we could bring in new teams would be 2011 when the new broadcasting deal cuts in," he said today.

    O'Neill said AFL expansion into western Sydney and the Gold Coast was the inevitability of Australia being "the most fiercely contested sports market in the world".

    "The gorilla in the room is the AFL," he said.

    "AFL are ambitious and have run their game very well and they are very cashed up - what they are spending on in development and recruitment in NSW and Queensland is pretty daunting.

    "It has taken them a while to make inroads in NSW and Queensland ... it has been hard going for them but the dam can break.

    "In some of the real heartland for rugby, which has been the private school systems in Sydney and Brisbane, AFL is around - it doesn't have a big penetration but they are after very similar athletes.

    "We can't duck it, it's there.

    "We will be responding."

    O'Neill said any new Australian Super rugby entity, which must be ratified by New Zealand and South Africa, required careful ARU reflection.

    "The judgment call for us in putting out an extra team is to make sure internally we are able to put a fifth team on the field that would be competitive," he said.

    "It opens the door slightly on the introduction of foreign players [to play for Australian Super teams] ... maybe a marquee player to provide a bit more sex appeal to the competition.

    "I think it's time we opened our door a little to allow foreign players to play."

    O'Neill said the ARU also desired a 26-week Super competition by "not necessarily adding new teams at first, just simply playing a round and a half".

    "That sort of critical mass of content does give us a chance to go more head to head with the AFL and NRL," he said.

    "There is nothing to stop that happening, an expansion to 26 weeks, even as early as next year but the addition of an extra Australian team or a team out of Tokyo would probably not happen until 2011."


    John O'Neill is certainly pushing things since regaining the top job in the ARU! I doubt Australia have the depth to add a fifth (and possibly 6th) Super Rugby team which is why I find his idea about adding foreign players in conjunction to an expanded schedule intriguing (as he has stated previously). Clearly the primary areas from which to "plunder" extra talent for a larger season and extra teams would be the south sea islands and Argentina. While O'Neill is only looking after Australian interests, his plan could help smaller nations develop immeasurably .
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  3. Mr Schlapp

    Mr Schlapp Guest

    I'm a big fan of the idea of a super team in asia, it would acclerate their development, unlock big sponsorship dollars and is also in a friendly time zone for Australia and New Zealand
  4. Ah i see that the gold coast would get a side soon maybe perhaps in the tier between club and super 14 rugby proposed 2009-10 i thought.

    Also FFS call the side gold coast not east coast or whatever crap. <_<
  5. Campo

    Campo Guest

    How about we bring in the island of Naru into the comp?

    I hear that they've got some good breakaways there...
  6. Haysie

    Haysie Guest

    Gold Coast? Yes please! :D
  7. I read a plan earliet today in the NZ Herald (online edition) which is supposedly the NZRU's ideal scenario. It splits Super rugby into three pools of 6 teams. Pool one has 5 SA franchises and an Argentinian franchise (based in SA). Pool two is 5 Oz teams and a Japanese franchise (based in Oz) while pool three sees the 5 NZ teams joined by a composite Pacific Islands team. Teams play the other sides in their pool home and away while they play the other teams either home or away, thus creating a 22 game season (if my maths are correct!) followed by playoffs.

    If this is the plan for Super rugby's expansion (and although it should probably be tweaked so that the new teams play their "home" games at home, it's not a bad option) it would give Australia an extra franchise. If that's the case, I'd guess that it's between Gold Coast and Melbourne for the 5th franchise.
  8. BLR

    BLR Guest

    Queensland can't support one team let alone two...and the Japanese team was actually worded differently, it seems they won't be based in Australia...which is good....
  9. You're right, my mistake. A Japanese based team would work far better from a commercial point of view than had it been based in Oz. I also feel that basing an Argentinian team in South Africa is flawed. Why would the SA public come out to support such a side and how would it increase the support base in Argentina since it's no different to the situation currently in place whereby the top Puma internationals are in Europe?

    I can't argue the fact that placing a team on the NSW/Queensland border will be sustainable because I don't know. Given John O'Neills comments, Melbourne would appear to be first on his radar. Wasn't there talk about shifting the Brumbies to Victoria or at least playing a couple of games a season there? If that's the case, it could come down to Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane having teams with Canberra and Gold Coast fighting it out for the last team.
  10. Fushitsusha

    Fushitsusha Guest

    I think moving the Brumbies away from Canberra would create an absolute shitstorm.

    I believe what they want to do if the length of the competition is doubled is to share some of the Brumbies' home games with Victoria.

    Personally, I don't want that to happen. If they want a team in Victoria they should just establish one later down the track.
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