Due to the financial strain that Covid has currently placed on the code, plans for injecting a second team into the Brisbane market have been halted

According to News Corp journalists Peter Badel and Travis Meyn, the birth of the league's 17th team will have to wait until at least 2024 .

Said news was broken to the heads of the competition's 16-teams on Tuesday night, with the original entry date of 2023 now unlikely to be met.

ARLC Chairman Peter V'landys confirmed that plans to expand had been scuppered on Wednesday.

“The analysis of expansion has stopped for the moment,” he explained.

“I have said to the clubs that the work on expansion has stopped for the moment, but the work will recommence on it.”

NRL Press Conference
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V'landys speaks to the media during a NRL press conference at Rugby League Central on September 03, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

2023 was previously seen as the opportune time to grant the NRL's latest license as it would have coincided neatly with the commencement of a fresh broadcasting deal that had been agreed on with the league's free-to-air partner Channel Nine.

Despite this, V'landys and the league's CEO Andrew Abdo have claimed that it is still their aim to meet their initial timeline, even if the game's pockets are currently being emptied at a rapid rate.

“I’m the chairman of the board and it’s not true to say expansion is absolutely off (for 2023). The ARL Commission will make the final decision," V'landys continued.

“We have put the tools down on expansion and until we pick up the tools again, I can’t tell you if we will have another team for 2023.

“We have a lot of variables we have to consider, including the current challenges (of keeping the NRL competition alive in Queensland)."

As claimed by Badel and Meyn, the NRL stands to lose in the vicinity of $45 million this season due to the cost of relocating the entire competition to the safety of the sunshine state.

Although members of the Dolphins, Jets and Firehawks bids had been readying themselves for a late July announcement as to whether their efforts had been successful or not, the champagne will have to be put on ice for another 12-months.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 23: Paul Ivan of the Dolphins and team mates are dejected after being defeated in the Intrust Super Cup Grand Final match between the Wynnum Manly Seagulls and the Redcliffe Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

With the AFL making strong headway in the Queensland market, head of the Brisbane Jets expansion bid Nick Livermore explained that he was hoping the league wasn't planning on dragging their heels on making an announcement.

“The ARL Commission would be aware of the risk factor of delaying expansion too long, especially with the AFL targeting Brisbane’s western corridor, which is the highest-growing population area in Queensland," he said.

“We are at risk of losing ground to the AFL, but that may be a short-term risk we have to take to ensure the game’s stability.”