Stephen Parle and Geoff Murphy on the announcement that the Brothers Leagues Club will become the new home of the CQ NRL Bid.
Stephen Parle and Geoff Murphy on the announcement that the Brothers Leagues Club will become the new home of the CQ NRL Bid. Chris Ison/Morning Bulletin

Geoff Murphy upbeat for NRL bid

SOME commentators believe the game is over before it has got started.

They’ll have you believe that Central Queensland’s chances of being granted a seat at rugby league’s top table in 2013 have taken a nosedive.

Perhaps they haven’t met Geoff Murphy yet.

The Rockhampton construction tycoon who chairs the CQ NRL bid team believes the doom merchants have got it all wrong.

He was upbeat yesterday, despite reports in some quarters that a shake-up in the game’s administration will favour a Queensland bid from the south-east.

According to some insiders, the independent commission taking over management of the game before next season starts has already decided on an expanded format involving one team from the Brisbane area and one from New South Wales’s central coast.

But the case for a team based in Rockhampton is still being vigorously pursued, Mr Murphy said, as convinced as ever that the logic behind the proposal is undeniable.

Mr Murphy met NRL chief executive David Gallop in Sydney on November 17 to discuss the bid and to ask when the team should present its business plan.

“Weekend newspaper reports were unhelpful from our perspective, but I would suggest the game’s future expansion plans are anything but cut and dried. I would like to stress to our growing band of supporters that our enthusiasm hasn’t waned, far from it, regardless of what’s been said or reportedly said in the press,” he said.

“We firmly believe the next NRL team to come from Queensland should be based in Central Queensland, not in South-East Queensland where the market is becoming increasingly congested. By adding another team in the south-east, rugby league would only be going down the path of replicating what’s happened in Sydney … too many clubs in a confined space.

“CQ is the heartland of the game in Queensland, as well as being the engine-room of the Queensland economy. I can assure anyone with an interest in our game’s future that we are 100% committed to establishing a CQ-based NRL side.”

The bid team will be bolstered when Denis Keeffe, the former Cowboys chief executive, joins in January.

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GALLERY: Anzac Day services and march in Rockhampton

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