Central Queensland NRL bid finds support - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Central Queensland NRL bid finds support

By Laine Clark 24/04/2009 04:37:05 PM Comments (0)

Legendary former international Mark Graham has backed a central Queensland NRL bid amid fears AFL is making major inroads into one of rugby league's great nurseries.

And Gold Coast Titans boss Michael Searle has also thrown his support behind CQ's entry, saying a mooted plan to add another NRL team in south-east Queensland "isn't sustainable".

NRL boss David Gallop has had informal talks with a CQ consortium that officially launched their bid last week at Rockhampton amid speculation two teams could be added for the 2013 season.

Graham - New Zealand's player of the century - is officially on the CQ bid team as a supporter after moving to the region to take up a coaching role at Gladstone.

Two of the CQ's favourite sons - former internationals Gary Larson and Jason Hetherington - are also involved.

The bid is headed by one of Queensland's richest men, construction tycoon Geoff Murphy.

While receptive to the CQ push, Gallop has hinted that a fourth Queensland team could be situated in the Ipswich-Logan corridor outside Brisbane.

But former Kiwi skipper Graham said AFL would be the winner if the NRL did not recognise CQ.

"The AFL has six development officers for the area covering Rockhampton, Gladstone and Bundaberg - rugby league has one," Graham told AAP.

"I truly hope the NRL can see the benefits of a team in central Queensland.

"If the NRL doesn't do anything about it soon rugby league will cop a flogging in the juniors.

"AFL is gaining momentum here. It's going to get plenty of kids."

The CQ bid team has already picked the brain of the NRL's most recent addition - the Titans - as well as North Queensland, South Sydney and Sydney Roosters.

Searle preferred the introduction of a CQ team, saying south-east Queensland was already congested.

"There are four national teams on the Gold Coast, which isn't sustainable," he said.

"And Brisbane is four times bigger than the Gold Coast and they've got four teams and the (A-League soccer club Queensland) Roar is struggling.

"Central Queensland is a very strong rugby league community, and considering NSW currently houses 10 licenses and Queensland has three it certainly makes a lot of sense."

QRL boss Ross Livermore - who has also spoken with the CQ bid team - had reservations about a Logan-Ipswich outfit.

"I don't know where he (Gallop) gets that from. Down the track maybe," he told AAP.

"At the end of the day you have two very prominent teams in the south-east corner for the population (Titans-Broncos)."

While supportive of the CQ bid, Livermore added: "They (CQ) are very keen to make something happen in the area - but they have a big hurdle in front of them."

Livermore also countered Graham's claim, saying more AFL development officers didn't mean more juniors would be lost to the sport.

"The AFL certainly go overboard with development...but that doesn't mean anything - our junior numbers are up considerably," he said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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