The appointment of Shane Richardson to second in command at the NRL should hopefully facilitate the World Club Series growing to a point where it heads to Australia in the near future.
That’s the view of Super League GM Blake Solly, who told media at a briefing in Manchester that with Richardson on board, the possibility to take the series Down Under could happen “sooner, rather than later”.
Richardson played a key role in the development of the expanded competition, which takes place for the first time on the weekend of February 20-22.
“The intention was to hold it for a couple of years here and then take it down under but the appointment of Shane Richardson is a game-changer,” said Solly.
“Shane has a specific brief to improve the club competition and he can hopefully excite Australia into hosting it sooner rather than later.”
Wigan Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan agreed with Solly’s viewpoint on Richardson’s involvement with the NRL, too.
“The appointment of Shane Richardson is the biggest indicator yet that the NRL want to do things differently.
“We think we will make money and more importantly raise the profile of the English game,” added Lenagan, who said the Warriors’ participation in the event had helped to attract more sponsors to the club.