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Brisbane expansion gets the nod from ARLC


The NRL is preparing to announce the first expansion of the competition in 14 years with Brisbane to be granted a long-awaited second team.

Queensland are expected to be granted a fourth club from 2023 with an official announcement set to be made after the NRL grand final on Sunday week, according to a Newscorp report.

It follows an ARL commission board meeting on Thursday where the expansion of the competition to 17 clubs was backed pending approval by the 16 other clubs.

Once confirmed it will be the first time another team has been added to the competition since the Gold Coast Titans joined in 2007.

Following the official announcement of expansion in a fortnight, the league is then expected to hold further talks with bid clubs Brisbane Firehawks, Jets and Redcliffe Dolphins to grant a licence in October.

It will then allow the winning club to launch a signing spree with off-contract players from November 1 to start building a roster for the 2023 season.

The Dolphins have been considered the front-runners to be added to the NRL after impressing in a round of meetings with the ARLC last month.

All bid teams have reportedly held talks with off-contract South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett, who will return to Brisbane at the end of this season with no concrete employment but plenty of options.

Expansion has long been on the cards for the ARLC with chairman Peter V’landys wanting to advance the rugby league market in Brisbane.

“If we bring in a 17th team its got to bring in new audience and take a casual fan and turn them onto a rusted-on rugby league fan,” V’landys told 2GB last month.

“There’s no good taking fans from the Broncos or Titans or Dragons, they have got to be new fans, with new tribalism and they’ve got to reinvigorate Brisbane rugby league and that’s what we are looking at.”


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