Second Kiwi NRL team could be ready by 2017

New Zealand could have a second NRL team in place in Wellington by as early as 2017, according to the consortium behind the bid.

Consortium spokesman Robert Picone revealed this that initial contacts had been made with a potential coach, as well as agents of possible players.

The finances are also apparently in place to launch a club from scratch.

Picone is also set to meet with NRL management in the next few days about possible expansion.

Although currently there are no official plans to expand the NRL competition, Picone is sure that 18 clubs could be in the competition by 2017 or 2018.

A decision on whether to expand the competition and offer new licences will be made in the middle of next year.

It looks likely that Wellington will be the main base for the team, though they plan to have two venue to play in, as they do not want to saturate one market.

The team would expect to play between half and threequarters of its games in the main base, and a third venue could also come into play.

In time, the club would also become paid-up members of the club, with the power to shape policy and personnel appointments on the administrative side.

The next major step will be the granting of a licence, which is when the four main people behind the consortium will make their identities public.

“I can’t, for confidentiality reasons, reveal the arrangements we’re working on,” Picone told press in New Zealand.

“But I can assure you that once we get this licence, if we get it, and that’s the big key because often it can be difficult to talk to people credibility-wise when you don’t have a licence.

“But once we have the licence we will have the streams of revenue sufficient to more than cover our club’s operation.”

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