National Rugby League is considering changing its name and relaunching – A-League style – in the wake of a series of damaging off-field scandals, according to an Australian magazine.
NRL chief executive David Gallop has confirmed to Rugby League Week magazine that the competition has conducted a ”branding audit” and that as part of any restructure of the administration, a name change would be discussed.
“If there is a restructure of the game then the competition’s name and brand would also be reviewed,’’Gallop told RLW.
Newcastle director and former Australia captain Paul Harragon tells the magazine: “We have had consecutive years of turmoil in our game and it is having the residual effect that sponsors and other people who directly affect our financial wellbeing are not sure if they want to get involved.
“There is a feeling that the NRL brand has been tarnished. The smartest thing that the game’s administration can do is re-invent themselves and do it fast.
“We need a new name, a new structure and a sign that we want to be a truly national code if we are to take on the other codes.’’
The milestone development follows yet another NRL star, Setaimata Sa, getting in trouble with the law. Harragon said he feared it may already be too late to prevent rugby league becoming a marginalised regional sport in Australia, as it is in the UK and other parts of the world.