CQ tipped for NRL team
CENTRAL Queensland's bid for a Rockhampton based NRL franchise for the 2013 or 2014 season is one of the strongest to date, according to Gladstone and District Rugby League President Glenn Butcher.
With an existing league club, a petition in circulation and a Queensland government sign-off on a new 25,000 capacity stadium in the Rockhampton showgrounds, Central Queensland is emerging as a prime candidate to join the NRL ranks.
“All the things that we need to get an NRL team off the ground are slowly being ticked off, the biggest and most important thing is that we get 30,000 signatures to prove to David Gallop that we're serious about what we're doing here,” Butcher said.
Butcher believes that the presence of a Central Queensland side would benefit not only Gladstone rugby league, but the community at large.
“Not only will we have an NRL team of our own an hour up the road, but to utilise those players for training camps for the juniors and development of the game, and to go and watch the Broncos or any NRL team up the road would be fantastic,” he said.
“If they can't fit 25,000 people that are travelling in Rockhampton then it's only an hour to Gladstone so they'll fill up our motels and hopefully travel from our city as well.”
Butcher said the CQ Comets may also relocate to Gladstone if Rockhampton were unable to accommodate them with a new NRL team present.
The proposed side would travel to regional centres, promoting a Central Queensland identity.
The NRL is set to announce the new side next year with AFL dominated Perth and Adelaide looming as Central Queensland's competition.