NRL clubs target the New Zealand provinces

Last updated 05:00 18/05/2014

Relevant offers


NRL star Todd Carney to sue Cronulla Sharks for $3 million over unfair dismissal Kiwi prop Kylie Leuluai helps Leeds Rhinos to glory with heart condition Ex-Kiwi Bronson Harrison backs hybrid rugby game to take off No new NRL teams in expansion plan until all clubs are financially viable NRL star Jamie Soward's future at Penrith Panthers in doubt Players and officials declare Hybrid Rugby game a success Strong England squad named to take on Stephen Kearney's weakened Kiwis for upcoming series Stallions narrowly miss out on National Premiership final, but coach still happy Kiwis NRL enforcer Martin Taupau set to leave Wests Tigers for Manly Sea Eagles Counties and Canterbury to clash in NZRL final

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

Who is your pick for international league player of the year?

Shaun Johnson

Jesse Bromwich

Sam Burgess

James Graham

Greg Inglis

Johnathan Thurston

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content