Sport Brisbane Jets expansion bid targetting Cameron Munster and Harry Grant
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Harry Grant and Cameron Munster are the two players at the top of the wishlist list for the Brisbane Jets' NRL expansion bid as a decision on a 17th team draws near.
The NRL could make a decision on an expansion side by the end of the year, with the Brisbane Bombers and Ipswich Jets putting aside years of rivalry
Now known as the Brisbane Jets, long-time Bombers director Nick Livermore says bid organisers are in advanced stages of planning.
Grant was a revelation for the Tigers last year while on loan from Melbourne, earning a State of Origin debut and scoring a try in the decider.
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Munster capped off an incredible 2020 season claiming a premiership with the Storm before being awarded the Wally Lewis Medal in the Maroons' upset Origin series win.
They're both high on the wishlist for the Jets.
“A name like Harry Grant, we identified 18 months ago,” Livermore told.
“He was traded on loan and we’ve seen what he can do, and he ended up playing State of Origin.
“Cameron Munster is certainly one too. He’s made no secret that South-East Queensland is his home.
“I think he’d be an amazing first captain, but ultimately we need to get that license first.
"We need to make sure there’s as many quality Queensland players to start with, and then players from out of state who we’d also love to have a look at.
"They'd need to be off contract and available, and we’re having those conversations right now."
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ARLC chairman Peter V'landys said a decision on a 17th team will be made in June, with a second Brisbane side looking most likely.
That leaves the Jets vying with the Brisbane Firehawks and Redcliffe Dolphins to become the first new team in the competition since the Gold Coast Titans joined in 2007.
Livermore said Wayne Bennett and Craig Bellamy will be potential targets for the coaching job if the Jets are approved, but revealed the bid has plans in place for other personnel.
“We’ve spent a long time preparing. We’ve been going for 10 years now, so we know what the business model looks like," he said.
“The key part now is looking at who’s available from a playing and coaching perspective.
"We’ve got the staff structure ready to go. It’s a lot of personnel in both the front of office and football department, so it's just about having some time frame and when the commission’s ready to announce a tender, we’re ready to go.”
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Livermore said the reaction within the community has been positive, and argued the possibility of another set of Queensland derbies should be an enticing prospect.
“The rugby league community wants to see another team, and we want to see rugby league played every weekend in Brisbane. It’s only going to lift the Broncos’ profile,” he said.
“They’ve been around for 35-years, they’ve got a solid head start and they’ll be back.
“Kevvie (Walters) and Dave Donaghy, their new CEO, will really push them up a level and another team will only make their brand even stronger.
“Four Queensland teams, you can only imagine it. I’d love to see an all-Queensland weekend, with the Cowboys, Broncos, Titans and the new team all going head-to-head in one weekend.
“More derbies means more local heroes, but they need that opportunity.”
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Newcastle have extended their A-League unbeaten run to five games and compounded Melbourne Victory's misery with a 1-0 win at AAMI Park.Newcastle coach Craig Deans has lauded his team's fight to see off a struggling Melbourne Victory 1-0 and extend their A-League unbeaten run to five games.