The NRL's potential move to expand the competition by adding a second Victorian side has come as quite the surprise to key figures across the competition, with Melbourne Storm captain Christian Welch expressing his 'shock' at the concept.

ARL boss Peter V'landys revealed to News Corp this week that the league was assessing the option of igniting a rugby league rivalry within Victoria, hoping to follow a similar path that has seen NRL newcomers The Dolphins spark greater passion for the sport in Queensland.

V'landys stated the ARL won't rule out the idea of locating their 18th club in the AFL-centric state, with the NRL's rival code now set to expand itself to 19 licences.

Potentially looking to claim further supporters in Victoria, the ARL will weigh up the benefits of creating a rival club for the Storm to compete with locally.

"Absolutely, 100 per cent. You would have to be mad not to look at it,” V'landys said of the concept.

"The reason why we would never rule it out is because one thing the Dolphins have proven to us is people love cross-town rivalries.

"The fabric of rugby league is built on tribalism and rivalry. That's why we can't rule out.

"The Dolphins have somewhat surprised us in this regard. We thought it would be only a natural rivalry with the Broncos. But it isn't. The Titans and Cowboys are just as invested in going head-to-head with the game's newest member."

Welch expressed his support for Melbourne's capabilities to expand to two NRL clubs, but noted additional teams in Western Australia and New Zealand would better suit the competition's plans to expand.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 27: Christian Welch of the Storm warms up during the round 19 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Manly Sea Eagles at AAMI Park on July 27, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

The Storm skipper admitted he would be "shocked" if a second Victorian side gained the 18th license, with the current Melbourne outfit already 'unifying the city'.

"If any sporting city could do it Melbourne could, but I'd be thinking Western Australia or a second team in New Zealand," he told SEN. 

"They've nailed it with the Dolphins, getting a strong team in there but it's got to be expansion not necessarily consolidation I would think for the NRL but it's great to see they're thinking about that.

"But I think one of the special things about being the Melbourne Storm, it unifies the city.

"There's different AFL clubs here, if you're a Collingwood fan you shouldn't like the other fans, but I think a lot of AFL people, they also support the Storm because it's about Melbourne and one team in the city.

"I think that's why the Storm works well. We obviously play second fiddle to the AFL clubs but I think a lot of the AFL people go, ‘Oh yeah, I also go for the Storm as well'. I'd be surprised, but the rivalry could work, it's great to have some of that stuff but I'd be shocked to be honest if that happened."

The AFL is currently home to 10 Victorian clubs, nine of which are located in Melbourne, while the competition will expand to Tasmania in the coming years.