Eagles, Dockers don't mind us: Rabbitohs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles, Dockers don't mind us: Rabbitohs

20/04/2010 05:39:22 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney chief executive Shane Richardson claims both Fremantle and West Coast are supportive of NRL games being played in Perth as the Rabbitohs look to increase their presence in AFL-mad Western Australia.

The West Australian Rugby League is campaigning to get a Perth-based team in the NRL by 2013 despite the past failure of the Western Reds.

The Rabbitohs have played a big part in increasing the profile of league in WA.

South Sydney attracted 15,197 fans when they hosted Melbourne in a regular season fixture in Perth last year and both teams will return to ME Bank Stadium in June to face off in round 16.

"This is not about a threat to the AFL and I've got to say we've had lots of discussions previously with Fremantle and West Coast and they've been nothing but supportive of ourselves over here," Richardson said in Perth on Tuesday.

"It's about giving an alternative to people who have an interest.

"You have a large population from the east coast that are supportive of rugby league.

"You have a large population from England.

"We understand the value of putting rugby league into this area and trying to re-establish it after what happened in the past.

"We're over here to promote rugby league and give a genuine alternative for people who like the rugby game."

Richardson revealed the Rabbitohs were aiming to play two home fixtures in Perth, back-to-back, in both 2011 and 2012.

"We've always wanted to play two games over here but we weren't able to because we haven't really got any support in doing that, so we had to do it all ourselves," he said.

"We'd like to play two games back-to-back here.

"Several things have got to happen there; we need support from the government to do that, not a lot of support but some, and we need support from the WARL.

"And the second thing, I think we need to make sure that we arrange for our NRL fixtures to allow us to ... get out to the Pilbara.

"We want to take our indigenous programs into the regional areas.

"We've proven we can do it now in Western Australia, we've proven that rugby league has an interest and there's a great opportunity to be able to expand that interest."

Richardson said the Rabbitohs would no longer play games in Perth once WA gets their own side.

WARL chief executive John Sackson said: "Having two of the NRL's heavyweight teams playing for vital competition points at ME Bank Stadium will again put the spotlight on the great game of rugby league in WA.

"A sell-out crowd will further enhance our prospects for an NRL franchise to be awarded to Perth in the lead up to season 2013."

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