Pending approval on a potential bid – with a decision likely to come in July, a second Brisbane team could be set to enter the NRL in 2023.
Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald earlier this year, ARL boss Peter V’landys said the potential for a second team in Brisbane in 2023 was “very realistic”.
“It’s very realistic to say that we’ll have a second team in Brisbane in 2023,” V’landys said.
“From what I’ve seen and the presentations that have been given to me, they are well advanced. If I said 2022 they’d be ready. They’ve been doing work for years. There’s no reason why we can’t be up and running in 2023.”
With the potential of a second Brisbane team looming closer, one of the potential expansion teams, the Brisbane Jets, are hoping Rabbitohs captain Adam Reynolds signs a one-year extension with South Sydney that will ideally enable him and Rabbitohs coach, Wayne Bennett, to get to the club as a package deal to kick-start their NRL berth.
Reynolds has made it clear however that he isn’t keen at this point in time to sign a one-year extension with the Rabbitohs and would prefer a longer contract somewhere else for job security purposes.
Should Reynolds opt to become a free agent in 2023 though and the Jets get approved as the second Brisbane team, the expansion hopefuls’ general manager of football Scott Sattler said Reynolds would be top priority as a marquee signing.
“He’d be a tremendous player to have in your system if you were starting a club up,” Sattler said.
“He has all the attributes that would be very attractive to a new team. He’s a great club man, a family man, plays with plenty of pride, turns four into six and you also get a second coach on the football field.
“He would be great, but at the moment with his contract situation and him wanting to look after his family with a long term deal, it’s not realistic. In the situation where it became realistic and you had a license, he would dominate the discussion at the recruitment table.
“Whether Wayne was the coach or not, he would be a large part of your discussion at the recruitment table. He would dominate a conversation if it became a realistic option.
“He still has a lot of footy left in him and also has a young family. I never want to disrespect the Rabbits. They deserve to take this process through to the nth degree with Adam. We’ll wait and see what happens.”
Jets chief executive Nicholas Livermore said he hopes Reynolds will make himself available to build the team around.
“I’d hope Adam Reynolds would be available and only signs a deal for 2022,” Livermore said.
“You’d absolutely want anyone of his standard.
“Someone like Adam Reynolds is a proven game winner and big game performer. From a bid director’s perspective, we want to build the most successful team from day one, and if you have Adam Reynolds and Wayne Bennett you have winners and proven performers.
“Any player of his calibre, if someone approached me we’d be encouraging them to sign a one year deal to leave themselves the option of joining a new franchise in 2023. It wouldn’t be the first time agents have lined up playing contracts to coincide with the start of a new TV rights deal.”
Livermore also added that a great coach like Bennett to kick-start the club would be extremely beneficial.
“When it comes to Wayne, you just have to look at his record,” Livermore said.
“Queensland wouldn’t have won the State of Origin series last year if he wasn’t coach. You’d be hard-pressed finding anyone to disagree.
“I know the rapport he has with his players. If you signed Wayne Bennett as coach, players just want to play for him. Craig Bellamy has the same at the Storm – players just want to play under those guys. If and when we get the license, Wayne would be one of your top candidates.”
The NRL is reportedly looking at another expansion in Queensland to further grow the game in that demographic and increase participation numbers in the sport, particularly in the juniors.