Cyclones bid won’t fly
Wellington Rugby League boss Jason Hemson has distanced himself from a bid to have an NRL team with links to Fiji based in Wellington.
The joint Wellington/Fiji bid is backed by Sydney lawyer Robert Picone, who has said the club would be called the South Pacific Cyclones.
He said there was plenty of interest in league in Fiji and a recently upgraded stadium in Suva would be suitable for NRL games.
The Cyclones would play half their games in Fiji and half in Wellington.
Hemson has long been an advocate for a Wellington-based NRL team, but said there were numerous reasons why the Cyclones would never fly.
He has not spoken to Picone for five months and said it was not realistic to have an NRL team playing in Fiji.
The NRL does not appear interested in increasing the number of teams and was looking at other options to grow the game, he said.
‘‘They have made it quite clear that growing the game does not mean expanding the NRL, ‘‘ he said.
‘‘They are quite happy to do that through things like the (Auckland) Nines and the women’s game...I don’t think there is much chance of a second New Zealand team.’’
Several NRL clubs are struggling financially and relying on the NRL for support. The NRL has indicated that helping those clubs is its priority.