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Billy Slater: We don’t have the talent to expand

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Melbourne Storm legend Billy Slater says rugby league currently doesn’t have the talent to expand to 17 teams.

It comes as NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said today expansion was being heavily considered and that Brisbane was in the box seat if the NRL did expand.

The issue of expansion and relocation has been debated at length over the last 12 months with an additional team to be potentially included in the competition in 2023.

Slater told Wide World of Sports radio the NRL needs to increase investment in the development of players in the game.

“I honestly don’t believe there’s enough talent to fill another team,” Slater said.

“I think you’ll deplete the competition.

“If the game wants to go out and expand they need to look at developing players a lot more.

“I think that’s a real issue in the game that is player development.

“If they get that right everything else will take care of itself – sponsorship (and) bums on seats.

“You get the players out there, you get more Kalyn Ponga’s, you get more Cameron Smith’s out on the field everything else will take care of itself.”


While Cronulla Sharks legend Paul Gallen has agreed with Slater also suggesting there’s simply not enough talent in the competition for another team.

“The only place that can handle another team in my opinion is Brisbane,” Gallen said.

“I think that’s a no-brainer, I think Brisbane deserve another team.

“I totally agree with the fact there’s just not enough playing talent.

“Nowhere near is there enough talent to have another 30 full-time players in a roster that can compete at this NRL level having seen the quality of games we have at the moment.

“I could see blowouts like back in the Super League days.”

Graham Denholm/Getty Images.