Report: Perth not going alone, Bears loom, 20 team plan to come together by 2032

News Limited has reported that North Sydney have met with Peter Vlandys and declared themselves ready for expansion.

According to News

  • North Sydney chiefs held talks with V’landys on the day of Origin I last Wednesday as their hopes of a stunning return to the big league gather steam;
  • Perth’s entry to the NRL will be contingent on joining forces with the Bears;
  • The door is all but shut on a fifth Queensland club being part of a 20-team league;
  • The Bears and a second New Zealand franchise are fighting it out for the NRL’s 19th licence; and
  • A secret third Christchurch consortium has entered the race to launch a second NRL team in New Zealand.

The ‘Expansion Masterplan’ will formally outline the 20-team league, where the new teams will be based, when they will come in and the multifaceted benefits of having an international presence in the Pacific.

The NRL’s preference is for a Perth Bears joint-venture relocation model operating under a motto of ‘Two Histories, One Future’ – ostensibly becoming the Sydney Swans of the NRL.

The Bears want their heritage recognised – to that end the club would have the Bears logo, black-and-red colouring and play two NRL games annually at North Sydney Oval in honour of the club’s 116-year foundation roots.

More details at

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