WEST Coast Pirates CEO John Sackson has described the fans poll results regarding expansion as “particularly encouraging and quite meaningful”.
Forty-five per cent of respondents to our poll favoured a Perth-based team as the next NRL team, supplanting Central Coast for the first time.
“I suppose most of the people who respond to these polls are from the east coast and a lot of those are from NSW,” Sackson says from the Affiliated States carnival in Adelaide.
“That would explain why Central Coast has had so much support in recent years. It’s understandable.
“But last year we had a poll in the Courier Mail in Brisbane where win finished ahead of the Brisbane and Queensland bids, which was wonderful.
“We’ve always had media support but to hear it from the fans of the game is particularly encouraging and quote meaningful.”
Expansion has been put on hold until the end of next year by the ALRC, although its chairman John Grant reserves the right to put it back on the table before then.
“I think a lot of people want to see the National Rugby League become truly national,” says Sackson. They want to see it compete, apples for apples, with other sportds.
“It’s obviously very encouraging that fans from the heartlands are favouring true expansion.”
However, it could be argued that adding the pirates would not be “true expansion” but rather reclamation. Perth competed in the premiership from 1995 to 1997 before falling victim to the peace deal between Super League and the ARL.
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK