Legends' blockbuster plan for new $100m team

1 month ago 17
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A 2nd Brisbane NRL squad indispensable happen, with Harry Grant and Kalyn Ponga premier targets for the caller club.

That's the verdict from Queensland greats Wally Lewis and Sam Thaiday, who are adamant that a concerning rugby league endowment excavation and the Broncos' existent monopoly connected the metropolis should not beryllium a deterrent to expansion.

The NRL has pencilled successful a second Brisbane team for the 2023 season, which would go the competition's 17th club. Redcliffe Dolphins, Brisbane Jets and Brisbane Firehawks are the contenders.

Redcliffe is an tremendous nine boasting much than $100 cardinal successful assets, including a revamped boutique stadium that is presently being utilized amid the NRL's relocation to Queensland. The Dolphins are a wide frontrunner, Lewis and Thaiday believe, with the purpose of playing astir games retired of Suncorp Stadium and utilizing Moreton Daily Stadium arsenic a top-notch grooming basal that tin besides big immoderate matches.

"It (expansion) is going to instrumentality spot whether radical hold with it oregon not," Lewis said connected Wide World of Sports' QLDER.

Current Broncos prima Kotoni Staggs playing for the Redcliffe Dolphins successful 2018. (Getty)

"I've got to accidental I bash [agree with expansion] and if we're asked to constituent retired wherever that should beryllium ... Redcliffe can't beryllium ignored. Magnificent set-up from past play [for some Sunday NRL matches], would person impressed plentifulness of people.

"Ipswich you surely person to instrumentality into information arsenic well; the endowment that they've had from that country and the mode that they proceed to beforehand rugby league successful the champion mode possible. And I deliberation Rockhampton surely can't beryllium ignored either."

Thaiday said: "I inactive deliberation Redcliffe is the frontrunner astatine the moment. I would emotion to spot this announced sooner alternatively than later, truthful immoderate squad it is tin get a recruitment cause connected committee consecutive distant and get them passim Queensland searching for players, passim NSW searching for players.

"I deliberation if [they] tin drawback up immoderate of that younger endowment already and past commencement signing immoderate marquee players astir it, I'm definite that whoever ends up coaching that squad - idiosyncratic (Wayne Bennett) has thrown their chapeau successful the ringing already - I'm definite that they tin commencement gathering thing and who knows what's going to hap from that constituent successful time."

Lewis said that rugby league had capable endowment to screen different NRL team, contempt ongoing concerns astir diluting the competition. NRL large Paul Gallen wrote successful his Wide World of Sports file this week that the last-placed Bulldogs were impervious that endowment was already dispersed excessively thin.

"I deliberation determination is capable players," Lewis said.

"We're going to beryllium drafting them from the Q-Cup, bringing them in. Lots of young talent, oregon course, that'll beryllium coming along."

Harry Grant. (Getty)

For Lewis, the apical marquee people is simple: Queensland State of Origin hooker Grant. He is contracted astatine Melbourne Storm until the extremity of 2022 and determination remains a tricky balancing enactment playing alongside New Zealand Test hooker Brandon Smith; whom the nine person offered different caller deal.

"Harry Grant, he's a fantastic player," Lewis said.

"I watched this kid play for 7 minutes and I retrieve successful his archetypal people debut, I said, 'That kid volition play for Queensland, astir apt play for Australia'. He had time, helium had space, his decision-making process was archetypal class.

"He had the quality to beryllium capable to dictate presumption to the absorption truly intelligibly and the mode that helium was capable to tally with the shot and make uncertainty successful the caput of the defender was thing that was rather extraordinary."

Thaiday opted for Queensland Origin fullback Kalyn Ponga, who is off-contract with Newcastle astatine the extremity of adjacent season; though holds a subordinate enactment astatine the Knights for seasons 2023-24. Newcastle person been trying to widen Ponga's deal, which is presently worthy astir $1 cardinal per season, but Thaiday reckons that helium could signifier a marquee national with Grant.

"You tin motion Harry Grant but you tin motion Kalyn Ponga arsenic well," helium said.

"You speech astir a marquee subordinate and you privation to pull radical to your club, he's 1 of those kids that is perfectly increasing successful assurance twelvemonth by year. He has a cult pursuing already. You're going to get that kid market, you're going to beryllium getting kids and families done the gross to ticker a subordinate similar Kalyn Ponga.

"I deliberation he's the feline that you pursuit and you propulsion the room descend astatine him. If it's successful the Moreton Bay region, springiness him Moreton Island! He tin person it, helium tin bash immoderate helium wants there!"

Kalyn Ponga (C) of the Maroons. (Getty)

Both Thaiday and Lewis spot nary problems with the caller Brisbane squad uncovering a instrumentality base. It comes arsenic a astonishment to astir extracurricular of Brisbane that contempt it being a league-mad city, galore fans don't similar the Broncos.

"I'm definite that the caller franchise, wherever it is and immoderate it is, volition beryllium capable to pull a batch of radical that are not needfully Broncos [fans]," Thaiday said.

"I support going backmost to Redcliffe due to the fact that they've got the stadium there. I deliberation it's a perfect-sized stadium for a caller squad coming into a monolithic competition, they'll beryllium capable to propulsion tickets and propulsion rank truly good successful that country arsenic well. They're financially stable.

"There volition beryllium capable fans determination that enactment a squad that's not the Brisbane Broncos. We'd emotion to accidental everyone successful Brisbane is simply a Broncos instrumentality but they're not."

The different enactment for enlargement wrong the Brisbane marketplace without diluting the wide endowment excavation would beryllium to relocate oregon kill-off an existing Sydney club; thing that the NRL has shown small tummy for previously.

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