RLIF in talks to launch major domestic league in North America

David Collier, the RLIF chief executive, has confirmed that ‘tentative’ talks have taken place regarding a major domestic Rugby League competition in North America.

Discussions have been held for the competition to be founded ahead of the 2025 World Club, with Canada and the USA recommended as co-hosts for the event that year.

Early talks have been based on the size of the competition along with the other logistics in creating  a new league structure.

Currently, NRL and Super League are the two flagship domestic competitions within the sport. Toronto Wolfpack, the first ever professional team from North America, will play in Kingstone Press League 1 next season, which is two tiers below Super League.

“It’s a big ask, but we are in discussion with a number of people about what size and what type of organisation could be operated in that marketplace,” Collier told League Express.

“Forming a new league is a huge venture. You could easily be talking up to $100 million dollars of investment to get a six or eight team league up and running. We have to invest in that very carefully and find investors who would be prepared and willing to support us in that venture. But we are encouraged by the fact there are discussions going on that we would hope may lead to a league some stage in the future. Whether that is immediately prior to the World Cup or even sooner remains to be seen, but we see that as part of the pathway.

“They’re tentative talks at the moment, it’s very early days. But clearly, it would be a huge benefit if there was a major league or infrastructure in place ahead of the 2025 World Cup.”

A full-page interview with David Collier features in the new League Express. Inside, Collier discusses the Four Nations, the reasons behind taking the World Cup to North America and plans for a second major international competition alongside the World Cup. Get your copy in stores right now, or read online at TotalRL.com/LE