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NRL expansion gives ‘super bid’ merger team ‘some certainty’

Article image for NRL expansion gives ‘super bid’ merger team ‘some certainty’

The Brisbane Bombers and the Western Corridor bid teams are set to join forces to create a so-called “super bid” in the hopes of becoming the NRL’s 17th team.

Bombers bid director and CEO Nick Livermore said they were looking to grow the fan base in Brisbane.

“We have had some discussions over the last 6 months over what the expansion would look like and structure of the commission we found there was enough common ground,” he told Peter Psaltis on Wide World of Sports.

“Given we were working towards the common goal of having more rugby league in the south east corner, we wanted to maximise the opportunity for the benefit of the game.

“If we can do it together, we will park self interest and work together to hopefully put another team in the competition.”

He said he had a lot of respect for Western Corridor bid chief Steve Johnson, who is an influential figure in the game.

“Steve and I have found some common ground as directors of our respective bids, to number one play our games out of Suncorp Stadium, number two, benefit the entire region of Brisbane with potentially a training base in Springfield or Ipswich.

“Part of my mantra was we need to represent as much geographic area we can to ensure those fans that don’t support the Broncos or the Titans in south-east Queensland have a team full of Queensland heroes they can get behind an that’s exactly what we intend to do.”

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Steve Johnson told Peter he’s excited there’s finally “some certainty coming out of the NRL about expansion.”

“With that it mind, you feel reenergised about the future journey, which is exciting.

“Nick and I have known each other for a long time. We’ve had conversations about many things and just in recent times it came to us both about why we were butting heads when we could get together and combine their commercial and marketing strengths with our rugby league intelligence.

“By 2026, … we’re going to have close on 30 per cent more rugby league players in Queensland. To do the best thing by those young people and the emerging women’s game, we need an NRL club sitting there to create programs to work with our young people.”

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Peter Psaltis