In a landmark decision, the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) and Country Rugby League (CRL) today entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will involve formal discussions in relation to a possible merger that would see Rugby League in NSW governed by one body for the first time in more than 80 years.
The NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden and CRL Chief Executive Terry Quinn made the announcement after executing the document whereby both organisations would work towards merging into a single entity by 1 November 2020.
The merger would allow for significantly more combined resources to deliver Rugby League programs and competitions across the whole state.
The NSWRL and CRL have assured all existing staff that their employment is secure.
Terry Quinn said: “This announcement is a major step forward for the game in New South Wales.
“CRL and NSWRL have always been committed to advancing the state of the game in both metropolitan and regional areas and we’re pleased to be working alongside NSWRL seeking to create a merged governing body that will continue to serve in the best interests of clubs, participants and volunteers at all levels.”
David Trodden said: “It’s a particularly significant day in the history of Rugby League in this state. The CRL and NSWRL have been working closely together for many years and at the start of next year will be moving together into our new Centre of Excellence.
“This development is really one of the final steps in a natural progression and is a strong statement that the future of Rugby League in New South Wales is secure.”
David Trodden and Terry Quinn acknowledged the role Jim Doyle played in the merger process.
Both David Trodden and Terry Quinn are available for further comment.
In other news…….
Free-to-Air First for Intrust Super Premiership NSW Finals
The NSW Rugby League today announced the September Finals Series of its premier competition, the Intrust Super Premiership NSW, will be broadcast live weekly on free-to-air with Channel Nine for the first time, and will be a feature of the most watched NSWRL senior competitions finals campaign in history.
In addition to Channel Nine’s broadcast of four of the nine Intrust Super Premiership NSW finals matches, FOX League will televise four games (three live and one delayed) and the NSWRL will live stream one game on NSWRL.com.au, kicking off with Week One at Panthers Stadium on 1-2 September and concluding with the Grand Final on 23 September at Leichhardt Oval.
The NSWRL will also live-stream a further nine matches – the Preliminary Finals and Grand Finals of the Jersey Flegg Cup, Sydney Shield and Ron Massey Cup at Leichhardt Oval – taking broadcast of the state’s four senior competitions to their widest audience ever.
This weekend (25-26 August) marks the end of the regular season for all four senior competitions, ahead of Week One of the Finals Series being played across Panthers Stadium (ISP and Jersey Flegg Cup), St Marys Stadium (Sydney Shield and Ron Massey Cup) and McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle (Jersey Flegg). All Week Two matches will be at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah, and the final two weeks at Leichhardt Oval.
The NSWRL Grand Finals Series will feature two double-headers over two days to allow for live free-to-air coverage of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW decider at 3.10pm on Channel 9 on Sunday 23 September. The Jersey Flegg Cup will be played at 1pm.
NSWRL General Manager of Football Barrie-Jon Mather said Channel Nine and FOX League’s weekly broadcast of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW throughout the 2018 season had proved a hit, attracting a combined total of almost 60,000 fans on average each week.
“We are really thrilled to be able to continue to offer Rugby League fans more access than ever before to our Finals Series, either through free-to-air, pay TV or via our live stream,” Mather said.
“The numbers watching the weekly broadcast throughout the year proved there is an appetite to view our premier competition. While State of Origin is the jewel in the crown, we are committed to showcasing our pathways programs and competitions and thanks to Channel Nine, FOX League and the NRL we are able to do that.”
For the full finals draw and broadcast schedule, click here