NRL clubs target the New Zealand provinces

SARAH HARVEY
Last updated 05:00 18/05/2014

Relevant offers

League

Eels admit interest in Manly's Watmough Panthers coach Cleary leaves troops guessing Smith slams talk of Cowboys being unfairly treated Former Sharks players not offered ASADA deal Dumped Mick Potter tipped to join Dragons Todd Carney signs for France's Catalan Dragons Ennis showed no disrespect to Smith - Bulldogs Mick Potter shown the door by Wests Tigers Mannering wins top Warriors award again NRL won't let the Sharks coach return to work

Rugby league fans outside Auckland can expect to see more NRL games in their backyards from next year, as a major push goes into increasing the reach of the sport in New Zealand.

A number of cities, including Dunedin, Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton, are in line to host games, with Australian NRL clubs said to be lining up to bring potentially lucrative fixtures to New Zealand crowds.

The NRL's commercial boss, Paul Kind, visited Auckland recently to speak with the Warriors about where they were likely to play future games, but also continued ongoing discussions with venue management throughout the country.

Kind, speaking to Fairfax Media last week, said it was likely that New Zealand fans would get the chance to see games spread throughout the country from as early as next season following a successful start to the year for league in this country.

Already this season, Eden Park has hosted all 16 clubs for the NRL Auckland Nines; Wellington, Dunedin and Whangarei will host games for the Four Nations in November, and regular-season NRL games will have been played in Auckland, Wellington and Hamilton by the end of the year.

This afternoon, the Bulldogs will host the Warriors in Hamilton.

"There is certainly interest from Australian-based clubs to play matches in New Zealand," Kind said. "We would work with our clubs and then with the respective cities - whether that be Dunedin or a Christchurch or a Wellington.

"It's an indication of our game's intent to spread across New Zealand."

Kind said the NRL was "certainly prepared to play major games as well as club games outside of Auckland".

"It's healthy for the game - it's certainly healthy for the Warriors and the New Zealand Rugby League if we play games across the country."

Cities such as Wellington and Dunedin had already proven their worth to league, he said.

Ad Feedback

- Sunday News

Special offers
Opinion poll

Is Simon Mannering the best Warriors player of all time?

Yes, without a doubt. He's a brilliant player.

No, Stacey Jones remains the greatest.

He's right up there but others were better.

It's too hard to compare him with former players.

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content