Brisbane could host NRL decider: Gallop - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brisbane could host NRL decider: Gallop

By Wayne Heming 27/02/2009 08:57:00 PM Comments (0)

NRL chief executive David Gallop has given the strongest indication yet Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium could stage an NRL grand final.

The grand final has never been played outside of Sydney.

Gallop told a rugby league lunch in Brisbane on Friday the fabulous fan and corporate support of the game in Queensland had not gone unnoticed.

Asked about Brisbane's chances of hosting a grand final after it got behind last year's World Cup with a sell-out final, Gallop admitted it was now "much more of a possibility than ever."

The NRL is currently locked into an arrangement with the NSW government which means the grand final will continue to be played at ANZ Stadium at Homebush for "the next few years."

"We talked about it last week at board level and we've had some correspondence with the Queensland government," Gallop said.

"We absolutely have to be considering Suncorp (Stadium).

"It's been enormous for us with corporate hospitality for the May Test and Origin III (last year) virtually selling out in a day.

"We all know the level of support up here and I think it's a possibility at some point but it's a few years off."

Gallop hoped rugby league would get "back to the basics" after a hectic centenary year in which it "wore out its dinner suit" with over 80 corporate functions celebrating the game's history.

The game was cluttered with off-field dramas, player defections and a number of unsavoury incidents which Gallop said while unfortunate, could not be avoided because they involved young men.

"It's unrealistic to expect they're not going to make mistakes," Gallop said.

"Our players did over 15,000 hours of community work during the 2008 season.

"There's no headline in `player visits hospital' or `player visits school' but there are headlines when they make mistakes, which they do.

"What we have to do is continue to educate players and make sure the clubs take responsibility and punish them, which they have been doing."

Gallop also said the two referee system could be used in this year's State of Origin series if it proved a success in the early NRL rounds.

"It hasn't been decided yet for Origin but I think if it works in the competition, you will see it in Origin," said Gallop.

"It will be back to one referee for the end of year Four Nations because the English are not playing under two referees.

"This whole experiment is going to sink or swim on how it goes and we're certainly not going to put our head in the sand if it turns out to not be the right move.

"Hopefully it will be and we will see it in Origin."

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