National Rugby League's Manly Sea Eagles To Play Game In China
The final pitch for a game to be taken to China has been submitted to the National Rugby League, with the Australian Rugby League Commission "set to make a call on Manly's proposed China venture by the end of the month," according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The Sea Eagles "lodged plans for a game to be played in Shenzhen next year." An independent consultant "will conduct a feasibility study on an event officials hope will expose the game to new sponsors and audiences." Manly CEO Dave Perry met Nine Network powerbrokers Steve Crawley, Jeff Browne, David Gyngell and Matt Callander last week "to discuss the broadcasting implications." Crawley said management had an "open mind" to the proposal, which would likely result in a live Friday night broadcast if it went ahead. He said, "Every time anyone mentions China it's a massive thing. Who knows? It's a great looking stadium. You start giving them a taste and there could be more money coming into the game." It is expected the matter "will be resolved at the next ARLC board meeting, scheduled for this month." Because of the cost, the NRL "would have to underwrite the project" (SMH, 7/11).