Unfortunately, the short-sightedness of many Rugby League fans is outstanding.
Expansion has been the Achilles heel of Rugby League, with examples like the French 'Vichy Government' crippling "Rugby à Treize" ensuring recreation was once impossible. Today however, we now find ourselves like rabbits in headlights with the possibility of expansion facing negativity from within.
Throughout Rugby League's illustrious history, the pressure was applied from outside our beautiful game. The RFU was no stranger to this, ensuring Rugby League was only played along the M62 corridor, but now we find ourselves performing the RFU's work for them.
The Canadian expansion with the Toronto Wolfpack has been groundbreaking, record making and revenue raising.
Eric Perez has not only picked Canadian RL off the ground, he has set a bench mark for the whole of North America. The increasing fan base, North American exposure, corporate sponsorship and the grass roots Rugby League development has seen Toronto Wolfpack destroy the "away fans" narrative, ensuring a freakish phenomenon only Eric Perez could predict, driven by unbelievable positivity and ignoring the naysayers.
The announcement of a New York Rugby League expansion team is exactly where Rugby League needs to be as a sport. High impact, high intensity and extreme collisions which is at the very root of Americans and Canadians staple diet, so why wouldn't this be a perfect fit?
USARL, the domestic competition within the US, sees 4 New York teams, 4 'North Conference' teams and 4 'Southern Conference' Teams. This proves the US expansion proposal has the grass-roots capabilities previously established with mega bucks financing the growth and exposure needed to convert NFL diehards into born again 'League' lovers.
The sting however, finds itself sucked dry 'heartland' enthusiasts and "away fans" armchair critics.
Rugby leagues unpredictability is exciting and refreshing and for the first time in my lifetime, Super League is competing in exposure with the NRL. What will happen now? Who knows? Only Eric Perez has the foresight to deliver the impossible.
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