Hybrid competition not practical: Carr - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hybrid competition not practical: Carr

Joe Barton 25/05/2011 04:37:34 PM Comments (0)

Australian Rugby League chief executive Geoff Carr has moved to end speculation surrounding a proposed hybrid rugby end-of-season competition, describing it as a "kite-flying exercise".

Under a proposal detailed in Rugby League Week, senior rugby league and rugby union officials are believed to be toying with the idea of an Indian Premier League-style competition.

The proposed league would seek to secure the best players from both rugby league and rugby union with the lure of huge financial gains outside their respective salary caps.

But with the NRL calendar already running from March until October before the international season starts up, Carr concedes there is very little wiggle room for a new competition.

"If players are contracted to clubs and clubs are committed to the main competition, I'm not sure how we can find time to do another competition," Carr told AAP on Wednesday.

"It's obviously a kite-flying exercise and I can't really see how you can get our best players to keep playing.

"They'll be starting on Christmas Day (if all these proposals are true).

"Players are contracted to clubs, and there's already discussions from the clubs about the length of the season and the season structure.

"To add another layer of competition to the elite players is questionable.

"It's something which comes up every year and it's been rumoured for the past four years."

News Ltd are believed to have an interest in the concept, and have been named as one organisation keen to cash in on the huge potential for revenue generated by TV audiences.

"News Ltd reckons the hybrid game has got legs and they believe it could be a TV rights bonanza down the track," an unnamed source told Rugby League Week.

"They see it as being like an IPL set-up where both codes come together during a short window and make a heap of money."

But Carr questioned the presence of an outsider looking for a pay day.

"Like (Australian Rugby Union chief executive) John O'Neill said when this was first floated back in 2008 'if we were serious about it, why wouldn't the ARU ring up the ARL and why wouldn't we do it ourselves?'," he added.

A News Ltd spokesman played down any talk of their involvement.

"I can't rule it out because I just don't know, but I've heard no discussion of that kind of thing at all," the spokesman said.

"To be honest, the whole thing sounds unlikely."

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