General Wellington NRL side: Hope for for NU?

PB_old

Guest
Keep on hoping, fella. :biggrin1:

League boss wants Wellington NRL side

By NICHOLAS BOYACK - Hutt News - 01/09/2009

It seems like a huge challenge but Jason Hemson firmly believes Wellington will get an NRL team.

The Wellington Rugby League boss is working on a private bid but is aiming for the backing of both the Wellington and New Zealand bodies.

The first official bid was made in the early 1990s by Ken Laban and John Morrison, who backed the Dolphins.

That bid failed, but earlier this decade the then city council chief executive, Rik Hart, worked on a Wellington-based bid that would have seen a team based at Hutt Park.

That ultimately was unsuccessful, but Mr Hemson says that for league in New Zealand to succeed long term, a second Kiwi team is needed.

The Hutt Valley has a huge pool of untapped talent, he says, and a Wellington-based team will enable them to stay here.

Many of them are Maori and Polynesian and experience has found that when 17 and 18- year-olds go to Australia, and away from their parents, they often struggle.

His vision, however, is much wider than just a Wellington team. The Hurricanes provide a model that should work for league, he says.

Both Manawatu and Taranaki have significant league communities and his approach is regional.

So far he has had tentative discussions with Wellington City and the Westpac Stadium.

The stadium has told him that with its existing commitments, it cannot host a full season of NRL.

That fits in perfectly with his plan, as he hopes the team would also play a couple of games in the South Island, as well as places like Palmerston North, Napier and New Plymouth.

His aim to is to launch the bid early next year and to get the team into the NRL for the 2013 season. He concedes that is a big challenge and says there are numerous hurdles to overcome.

The NRL has not given a commitment to expansion and there are also potentially numerous Australian bids.

The New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) would also have to endorse any locally based team.

The NZRL are currently drawing up a strategic plan for the code and he is pushing to get it included in the plan.

There is also the problem of money. An NRL team requires an annual budget of $14 million. Whilst some of that comes from an annual grant from the NRL and television rights, a team still needs something in the vicinity of $10m.

The regional approach should make it easier to find sponsorship, he says.

Another factor encouraging him is the success of the Titans. The Gold Coast-based team is amongst the front-runners this season in the NRL, after joining the competition in 2007.

When the Titans first put in a bid, it was rejected by the NRL with no reason given. The backers of the bid refused to accept no and demanded to be given a reason. After extensive negotiations, the club was eventually granted a licence and has subsequently flourished.

Mr Hemson says the lesson to be learned is to not give up and that it may take years to get everything right and gain a spot.

Ultimately he believes the NRL will want a second New Zealand team and to be prepared to work towards achieving that, he says.

At this point, he has not spoken to the Hutt City Council, but plans to do so.

The proposal for a sports hub at Fraser Park will create opportunities for league. It could be a perfect training ground for an NRL team and potentially is the right site for a 12,000 seat stadium, which would provide an alternative to Westpac Stadium.

As the Wellington rugby league boss, he is also aware that for the bid to succeed, the sport has to grow locally.

When the Dolphins put in their bid, there were 170 teams in Wellington. The number is now significantly lower and one of his priorities is to grow the game. This week he will be attending the national secondary school's competition in Wainuiomata and if he gets his way, some of the boys may one day play for a Wellington NRL team.
 

Northern_Union

Guest
Love the idea. I hope they can make it work, lord knows league needs it.
 

Spence_old

Guest
I really hope this comes through.

What is the general Australian publics view on having another NZ based team?
 

KeepingTheFaith_old

Guest
I really hope this comes through.

What is the general Australian publics view on having another NZ based team?

A large number of fans are all for it. There's always going to be that group that says "it's a national competition, kick NZ out" regardless of what NZ sides add to the competition, but I'd say those people are in the minority.

It probably sways things that I live in QLD and the idea of another NSW side makes them cringe like they've been sucking on a spruced up lemon in between shots of vinegar and salt.
 

Northern_Union

Guest
The fact of the matter is there are enough Kiwis playing in Aussie and England to field three sides with no worries.
 

ToiletDuck_old

Guest
Personally I can't see a 2nd NZ side having much success without an overhaul of the rugby/league talent base in NZ.

When I look into my crystal ball, I see a team with a snazzy new bright outfit that has signed a few 'big names' like David Kidwell, Monty Betham, Joe Vagana...well not those 3 obviously but you get the picture. Then, combined with a few run-of-the-mill Aussie players who even the Warriors turned down, they'll have a 'team'. Next will come the 'meet the player' days, the press will be all over them and their first game at Westpac will have a bumper crowd. From here however, things will head South, and they'll finish the season with 5 wins.

Phil Gould, Mark Geyer and the Sunday Roast boys will call for the club to be booted and the position filled by some NSW central coast team.
 

Northern_Union

Guest
Phil Gould, Mark Geyer and the Sunday Roast boys will call for the club to be booted and the position filled by some NSW central coast team.

That has a ring of truth about it :(
 

ToiletDuck_old

Guest
Yeah everyone is always talking up Bluetongue stadium etc, they're in love with that area.
 

Beetle_old

Guest
Phil Gould has always talked up the prospect of a Wellington team, Goose Geyer on the other hand....
 

kiwi's 13-6_old

Guest
a wellington team in the nrl would be awesome. goodluck to the bid team!

you would want to take games to christchurch but not to many as can be disruptive for players and more importantly membership packages. when the super 14 is on in the 1st half of the season a few game could be played in christchurch when the hurricanes are at home but the crusders are away1

i dont think manawatu. taranaki, hawkesbay or wairarapa have a stadium that really up to nrl standards. so theyd have to play pre season trials in those centers. but people from manawatu & wairaparapa are only about an hours drive from wellington anyway, so they could sign up for membership packages etc.
 

garyhobson_old

Guest
NZ doesnt deserve a second team in the nrl, we cant even field half a team of new zealanders in it. We have a 36 year old prop as our captain and marque player, Michael Luck as our vice captain, Jacob Lillyman as our bench prop, and James Maloney bought in to fill our key play making position. Pathetic.
 

ToiletDuck_old

Guest
NZ doesnt deserve a second team in the nrl, we cant even field half a team of new zealanders in it. We have a 36 year old prop as our captain and marque player, Michael Luck as our vice captain, Jacob Lillyman as our bench prop, and James Maloney bought in to fill our key play making position. Pathetic.

Haha, you should make that your sig.
 

garyhobson_old

Guest
It's true. NZ can't use growing the game as a factor on why they should get another team in the comp.
 

Sin_old

Guest
Have to agree with a lot of you here. I got to say the idea of a Wellington NRL based side sounds amazing but the fact is, it's a long way away from ever happening. I like that those who want this to happen Mr hemson and co are pushing forward with this but they know like we know it will be a long and hard road. Even if they do get the bid maintaining the club is secure for the future is another tough task. Some established clubs in the NRL are struggling financially. I do however wish them the best of luck and I would love to see a Wellington NRL side run out onto Westpac Stadium or wherever.

Geeze if NZ had the same population of people as AUS would we dominate oppositions in league as we do in union? Food for thought!
 

kingkole_old

Guest
the australian public need to realise that the NRL no longer belongs to them, the game needs to exspand it needs to reshape its self as a comp by introducing wellington your increasing your brand even more.
I think wellington could well be what NZ is waiting for to grow the game here. Ive never been a singled minded warriors supporter more of a lover of R/L and i would love to see wellingtons bid succeed.
 
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kngkbra_old

Guest
if anyone deserves a league team it shud be canterbury, not wellington. Not only have we consistantly been a force in bartercard (also current champions), but we get the crowd support aswell, av 20,000 aka warr games, and test played at jade stad (and not everyones a warr fan too, so u can imagine how much would turn out for their own team). Wellington has never won a championship, and would only get a team through political advances. what needs to happen would be, corporate financial backers, merging with the crusaders to produce a sustanable product. if this sounds silly, its already been done by uk super league teams, leeds is one of those teams, i think, which is owned by leeds rugby.
 

Northern_Union

Guest
Leeds Rhynos is Leeds rugby, they inturn own the Leeds Tykes union side. Harliquins RU owns Harliquins RL in London.
A new team i think would need to service both Wellington and Canterbury, so it would need to be based in one city but provide home games to both cities.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
Why not have a Christchurch based team to set up a North/South Island rivalry? I think crowds would be the biggest concern, but if the team went well, I'm sure there'd be enough going to pay the power bill.
 

insulinboi_old

Guest
It will never happen. Not for several years anyway. Personally, I'd like the idea of a Pacific based side, possibly in Fiji, but I doubt that would be financially or logisitcally possible.
 

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