New deal to protect Broncos from poaching raid
The Broncos have hit back in the looming NRL expansion turf war by striking a deal with three Intrust Super Cup clubs to stave off poaching threats from a proposed second Brisbane team.
The Courier-Mail can reveal the Broncos have inked a three-year agreement with Norths Devils, Souths Logan and Wynnum Manly as they look to take a stranglehold on Brisbane talent and dominate south-east Queensland.
The NRL is expected to announce the code's 17th team by July with ARL Commission boss Peter V'landys determined to add a second team in Brisbane alongside the Broncos to grow rugby league in Queensland.
The presence of a second Brisbane team, for the 2023 or 2024 NRL premiership, would instantly trigger a fierce bidding war for the best emerging rugby league products in south-east Queensland.
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Now the Broncos have flexed their muscle, locking in Norths, Souths Logan and Wynnum Manly until the end of 2023 under an affiliate model that will strengthen the NRL glamour club's footprint in Brisbane league heartland.
Brisbane interim CEO Neil Monaghan said the partnership would also enable the Broncos to work strategically with the Intrust Super Cup triumvirate in key areas headlined by talent development, community engagement and commercial growth.
"These three great Queensland Rugby League clubs possess a combined 560 teams and almost 10,000 participants in both senior and junior teams," said Monaghan.
"It makes sense for us to strengthen our long-term alliance with Norths, Souths Logan and Wynnum Manly on a range of levels in terms of developing talent and providing a pathway to the NRL, and helping invest in the game at a grassroots level.
"We are the Brisbane Broncos and strengthening our partnerships with these three local clubs for the next three years sends a strong message that Brisbane is indeed our heartland."
Prospective NRL team the Brisbane Jets had explored a feeder-club arrangement with Souths Logan, but this new deal ensures the Magpies will remain aligned with the Broncos.
Aside from a strategic plan to cultivate talent in Brisbane, the Broncos will also work with Norths, Souths Logan and Wynnum Manly to create opportunities for female talent to progress to their champion NRLW side.
"We are proud to continue the proud association and relationship built over six years with the Broncos in 2021," Souths Logan CEO Jim McClelland said.
"Through our affiliation we have seen players from our affiliate junior clubs offered a direct pathway into the NRL, without having to leave home to do so.
"Souths Logan Magpies will continue to work closely with the Broncos to ensure our two brands stand together, continuing to play a positive role in the clubs and community we represent."
The three Intrust Super Cup clubs have groomed a host of young guns for the Broncos in recent years.
Herbie Farnworth, Jordan Riki and Ethan Bullemor cut their teeth at Norths, Tesi Niu and Jamayne Isaako have emerged from Souths Logan, while Wynnum have helped deliver Pat Carrigan and Tom Dearden to the NRL stage.
Originally published as New deal to protect Broncos from poaching raid