NRL - New Zealand's 18th NRL Team?  - rugby union

NRL – New Zealand’s 18th NRL Team? – rugby union

With the arrival of the Dolphins in 2023, NRL is already in the process of merging its eighteenth franchise and New Zealand appears to be the favorite to welcome the second team.

The integration of the Eighteenth Formation into the NRL is not planned before 2025 but there is speculation as to who will reclaim the prized spot. Reports from Australia tell us that New Zealand is so far the favorite to host a second team after the NZ Warriors in Auckland. Any team in Wellington or Christchurch would have the advantage of creating competition within the country but also in developing Team Thirteen in New Zealand against its mighty cousin the Queens. NRL is working with Andrew Abdo and Pete V’landys also there passionately to promote XIII in the country with a television agreement in particular which will see the biggest posters, SOs and finals appear on New Zealand public television.

Last May, former NZRL chairman Andrew Chalmers launched a $30 million bid for a new team believed to be based in Wellington. The proposed team will play at Sky Stadium in Wellington but will play regularly in Christchurch. There is also a desire to create a women’s team associated with the new franchise with the goal of eventually joining NRLW in the future. New Zealand will face stiff competition with several Australian cities such as Perth and Adelaide also hoping to host a franchise in the future.

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