As the NRL boldly looks to add three new NRL teams to the competition over the next decade, ARLC chairman Peter V'landys is eager to utilise wasted talent in rival codes.

News Corp have revealed the NRL's ambition to expand into a 20-team competition, potentially within ten years, however the grand question at large is, where will the talent come from?

There were fears that talent across the NRL would be diluted after the Dolphins were included this season, which would only be compounded by the addition of three teams, and another 90 players to be handed top 30 deals.

However, never fear, Saint Peter is here.

“There's a market in America for NFL players to come here,” V'landys told News Corp.

“The model is basketball. Anyone who doesn't make basketball in America comes to Australia. Then there's the pathway then between the two countries.

“Where do all the NFL players go that don't make it to the NFL? Where do all the college players go?

“You only need to get a dozen or two dozen to come over and there'd be enormous interest in America for our game.

“America is a big market for us and that's one thing that came loud and clear to me when I saw the broadcasters in America was how small a country Australia is. You've got to look at new markets and America is potentially a new market for us.”

There have been talks in recent years of the NRL taking a Round 1 clash to the United States, with the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Manly Sea Eagles originally touted to face-off, and lure in fans via their superstar supporters in Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman respectively.

Star players Ryan Papenhuyzen, Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic have all travelled to Philadelphia in the past year for injury rehabilitation, while the Kiwis played a Test in Denver in 2018.

Philadelphia Eagles v Arizona Cardinals
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 20: Offensive tackle Jordan Mailata #68 of the Philadelphia Eagles takes the field with teammates during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Eagles 33-26. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

V'landys is eager to make inroads in the States, the same nation the 2025 Rugby League World Cup was regionally scheduled before being shifted to France.

“You've got to look at the big markets, you've got to look outside,” he added.

“As I said you've got to have ambition, you've got to look at where the growth can come from.

"One lesson I learnt talking to all the major broadcasters like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Twitter is that Australia in the scheme of things is a pimple. It's too small.

“They want big markets so you need to grow your market and if America is one of those places you should be going there sooner rather than later.”

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 18: Running back Jarryd Hayne #38 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on from the sidelines during their NFL game against the Baltimore Ravens at Levi's Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Jarryd Hayne and Valentine Holmes both left the NRL for American Football, while former Holden Cup player Jordan Mailata just played in a Super Bowl, but so few have come the other way.

V'landys doesn't miss a beat.

“The most wasted talent in sport, is America,” he said.

“If you don't play in the NFL, there are thousands that sit there. There are 20-year-old and 18-year-old kids… if we really want to really grow the game and market, why aren't we looking over there?”


  1. There is an initial challenge with this idea. Failed NFL players go to the CFL in Canada, the LFA, USFL and the CFL. Then there is the Arena football leagues aswell. If you are then left over your body types and athletic ability may then suit the NRL. Most American football only pays for 6 months of the year so perhaps the all year round pay option in Australia could be attractive, but first you have move your life here or to the UK and hope a program will pay for you to learn the game or get you a work visa have a job here at the same time. This seems to be quite the thought bubble.

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