NRL set for 18-team competition?

NRL

North Sydney Bears have pushed to become the 18th team in the NRL competition. 

It follows the introduction of the Dolphins, who will enter the NRL as the 17th side in 2023. Launched as a bid for inclusion into the NRL by Queensland Cup side Redcliffe Dolphins in 2020, the Dolphins were granted a licence in October 2021 to compete as the league’s 17th side.

The side have appointed Wayne Bennett as their head coach for their inaugural season, who is well underway signing his first squad for next season. They recently added former State of Origin outside-back Edrick Lee on a two-year deal from their inaugural 2023 season.

However, Dolphins will leave an odd number in the NRL, who may be looking to add an 18th side in the near-future, especially with their Magic Weekend round.

North Sydney Bears shared on social media: “Bears are back in the media with our push for the 18th team continuing to pique interests.

“Our preference for re-admission is to go it alone and is the focus of our bid planning.

“However, no opportunity is off the table it it means a Red & Black return! Further update to come.

History of the Bears

The North Sydney Bears currently compete in the New South Wales Cup. They spent 90 years in the NRL competition Down Under, exiting the competition in 1999.

The club was established in 1908, making it one of the original founding members of the New South Wales Rugby Football League. It was also one of Australia’s first rugby league football clubs. 

They won two Premierships during their time in the NRL, and two Minor Premierships. North Sydney was in a partnership with South Sydney serving as Souths’ reserve grade side from 2007. The agreement ended in 2018.

Could the Bears join the Dolphins in the NRL in the future?

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About Josh McAllister 1532 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.

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