With the NSW Cup thriving as a domestic RL competition in NSW, the need to look at external teams to ensure each NRL team has their own feeder side within Sydney, becomes more and more relevant.
Now, the Albury Thunder have submitted an application to the Country Rugby League (CRL), with their CEO Terry Quinn confirming that a meeting will take place next week, to discuss the Thunder’s application.
As the Thunder’s move to enter the NSW Cup gains momentum, Quinn says that the CRL will need to be re-assured of both financial stability and the long-term prospects of the club, before signing off on such a move.
With a number of potential issues clouding their final submission into the competition, Smith will have to hear what the Thunder’s solutions to said issues are.
“We would like to see what they’ve got to offer in terms of funding, and whether or not it’s adequate enough because the last thing we would want to do is see them fall over in the next few years,” Quinn said yesterday.
“Sustainability is very important to us.
“I know that they’ve contacted Melbourne Storm at this stage and I think Cronulla Sharks could be another possibility, but they need to find a partner.
“Obviously Mike Eden is very enthusiastic but we need to know the actual costs and plans for sustainability.”
Mike Eden, a Thunder spokesperson, was in the Riverina outlining the Thunder’s plans to be an NRL feeder team – but for Quinn, he wants to ensure that should the Thunder join the NSW Cup, it does not leave the Group Nine competition in disarray.
“The players would need to be trained for another level of football, just because they’re leading the competition at the moment doesn’t mean the players are of NSW Cup standard,” he said.
“We’d have a look at their roster of players and also see what their plan is to sustain playing in the group.
“We need to be very mindful of not destroying the competition underneath it, of course Group Nine.