NRL needs Perth, Adelaide: Cullen

DEPARTING Brisbane Broncos CEO, Bruno Cullen, wants the NRL to include teams in Perth and Adelaide to make the competition a truly national one.

Cullen made the call yesterday while in Byron Bay for the two-day NRL CEOs conference, which ends today.

Perth and Adelaide were part of the former Super League competition in the late 1990s, but the Reds (Perth) and Rams (Adelaide) were forced to shut down as part of the compromise peace deal between the ARL and News Ltd and a NRL restructure.

Cullen, however, wants to see both cities return to rugby league.

“Personally, I would like to see a truly national competition adding Perth or Adelaide, or even both,” he said. “To make it fair the competition could be split into two pools, with the teams at the top four of both ladders contesting the finals.

“But it would have to mean any team from either pool could still play each other in the grand final somehow.”

After seven years at the helm of the Broncos, Cullen is stepping aside.

“It's been a bit of ‘reflection time' for me but it's an enjoyable way to go out,” Cullen said.

“I'm on the payroll to the end of the year so I'm here to work until the end.”

Cullen said the Broncos are in a good position heading into next season.

“We still have plenty of youth; they showed last year they had plenty of talent but they ran out of gas, mentally and physically, at the end of the season,” he said.

“I'm really looking forward to seeing a fresh and rejuvenated side.”

The conference served as the perfect opportunity for Cullen to introduce incoming Broncos CEO Paul White to the position.

“He made the Queensland Police team of the century, alongside rugby league legends like Wayne Bennett, Mal Meninga and Peter Jackson,” Cullen said.

“He knows his footy and he knows his business.”

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