NZ league boss cools talk of second NRL club
A lack of cash looms as the biggest roadblock to New Zealand getting a second team when the NRL next expands.
Since the introduction of the Warriors in 1995 the number of New Zealand-born players has grown exponentially, with more than 20 per cent of NRL players now coming hailing from across the ditch.
That doesn't include players of Kiwi parentage, either, which is why many believe the time is ripe for the NRL to add a second team.
The debate around a second New Zealand side stems from Todd Greenberg's assertion on Monday that "the game is in a good spot to grow."
Speaking on NRL 360, journalist Paul Crawley urged the NRL to look at New Zealand as a potential expansion location, while former Manly coach Geoff Toovey has said the first place Greenberg should look to grow is across the Tasman.
That debate will only intensify following the revelation on Wednesday the NRL is considering offering struggling clubs a financial safety net - under the proviso they are willing to relocate into a new market.
But amid all that speculation, Greg Peters, the CEO of the New Zealand Rugby League, says creating a new team or relocating an existing team to the country would be a huge financial commitment.
"I think the first stage is whether the NRL wants to expand or not," Peters told foxsports.com.au.
"I think they're going through a bit of assessment period around that.
"We certainly wouldn't close the door - but we haven't considered it in any depth.
"Obviously in all likelihood it would require private investment.
"We simply have not looked at it any detail, there's a significant budgetary component to running a team.
"And historically, sports teams haven't made any money."
Peters' final comment is perhaps the most pertinent.
The NZRL is still chasing promoter Jason Moore, who helped put on the Denver Test between England and the Kiwis last year for lost sums.
The game was controversial, with the RLPA and NRL fighting strong resistance from the English and Kiwi players to take part in the historic fixture.
Moore owes the NZRL and its English counterpart, the RFL, close to $1 million and that has left the Kiwis seriously short of cash.
"We're in a delicate financial position," said Peters. "And we need to cement and grow our investment into grassroots.
"We need to put more revenue into grassroots rugby league in New Zealand because that is the NRL's factory."