While the NRL is exploring further options for expansion, Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V’landis noted the bold plan, which includes tapping into “squandered” talent overseas.
Speaking of Triple M In Sunday Sin Bin, V’landis talked about his desire to create paths for college football players who didn’t make it to the NFL to play in rugby league.
The ARLC chairman said the ambition is part of a broader awareness that the game should explore “new markets” and different ways to generate interest and growth.
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“There is a market in America for NFL players,” V’landis said.
“Model is basketball. Anyone who doesn’t play basketball in America comes to Australia. Then there is a path between the two countries.
“Where do all the NFL players who didn’t make the NFL go? Where do all the college players go?
“You need to collect a dozen or two dozen, and our game will generate huge interest in America.
“America is a big market for us and it became clear and clear when I saw American broadcasters how small a country Australia is. You have to look at new markets and America is potentially a new market for us.”
V’landis said he “absolutely” has plans for some sort of development unit in America to help create a legal path for college football players.
“You have to look at the big markets, you have to look outside,” he added.
“Like I said, you have to have ambition, you have to look where growth can come from. One lesson I’ve learned from talking to all the major broadcasters like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Twitter is that Australia is a pimple in the scheme of things. Too small.
“They want big markets, so you need to expand your market, and if America is one of those places, you should go there as early as possible.”
This came after former NRL player Gorden Tallis had come up with a similar idea earlier in the program.
“The most lost talent in sports is America,” he said.
“If you don’t play in the NFL, there are thousands of players sitting there. There are 20 year olds and 18 year olds… if we really want to really develop the game and the market, why don’t we look there?”
Originally published as ‘There will be huge interest’: V’landis reveals bold plan to bring ‘lost’ NFL challengers to NRL