jazz tevaga
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 18: Jazz Tevaga of the Warriors and Marcelo Montoya of the Warriors celebrate victory with fans during the round six NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the New Zealand Warriors at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, on April 18, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

The NRL have only just confirmed the competition will move to 17 teams in 2023, but already thoughts are beginning to turn to wards an 18-team competition.

The obvious advantage of adding yet another team in the years after The Dolphins enter the competition will be adding an extra game per weekend, increasing from eight to nine.

This would undoubtedly add value to the game's lucrative TV deal with extra content every weekend.

While Sydney Roosters' boss Nick Politis earlier this week called for another team to be based in either Brisbane, or elsewhere in Queensland, the common consensus among fans is that the NRL should be looking to expand to become a more national sport next time they opt to add a team.

Perth seems to be a front-runner after hosting State of Origin, and given the timezone advantages they would bring to the sport, however, a second team in New Zealand has also been touted.

Former New Zealand international player Hugh McGahan has come in with a radical plan to make it work too.

The common thought is that rugby league is only seriously popular on the north island in New Zealand, with Wellington the city most expect the NRL would target.

However, McGahan believes Christchuch, and linking with Super Rugby franchise the Crusaders would be the way to go, telling SEN New Zealand that a fan base and infrastructure you can draw off would be extremely important.

“A we've seen with the Dolphins, you have to have the right coach to attract people who want to come to New Zealand,” McGahan said.

“The Warriors have been around for 25 years and they're still struggling to attract big name players to New Zealand.

“I'm going left field here, I would look at a team in Christchurch and I would link it with the Crusaders. You have an infrastructure right away, you have a base and culture you can draw off and ride in off the experience of what the Crusaders are doing.

“They've proved over many years, that they're good at their job and everyone else has been chasing their tail for a long time. That's where I'd look to base a team.

“Canterbury is a sports mad province, and you would have a better base there, compared to Wellington.”

The Christchurch-based Super Rugby franchise are the most successful in the competition's history, and while rugby league has seldom visited the city, the radical proposal would tie in with the NRL's line of wanting measures in place to make clubs successful both on and off the field.