Wigan owner Ian Lenagan believes Super League will evolve into an international competition within the next five years – and says if the NRL stall on including a Perth time for much longer, they could be the next big area to have a top-flight team in the league.
Lenagan’s Wigan side are preparing to take part in the first Super League game held outside of Europe this weekend when they face Hull in Wollongong – a project spearheaded by the Warriors.
And Lenagan, speaking to the Illawarra Mercury, said that the innovation Super League is currently bringing to the table means the expansion of the competition is merely going to grow and grow in the coming years.
“Super League will be an international competition in five years’ time,” Lenagan said.
“I believe at that time, as well as the English clubs, we’ll have Toulouse, we’ll have Perpignan, we’ll have Toronto, we’ll probably have New York within that time scale.
“The Super League is doing a lot of innovative things to take the game forward. The 12 clubs are working tremendously well together, that’s how we got permission to do this [Wollongong game].”
Perth have long courted a desire to launch an NRL side, but that has yet to become a reality.
And Lenagan insists that if the NRL continue to delay that project, Super League may well try and lure a side from the Australian territory into its own competition.
He said: “Who knows, if the NRL don’t do something about [expansion with] Perth, with a single flight back to England it wouldn’t at all surprise me if they became interested in playing in a competition of that scale.”