EXCLUSIVE: Peter Beattie outlines plan to revive international Rugby League
Peter Beattie is a man with a vision.
Having been appointed deputy chair of the Rugby League International Federation, the sport’s global governing body, Mr Beattie has outlined his bold plan to revolutionise the game around the globe.
If carried out, it could provide the highest level of rugby league with a shot in the arm to keep it competitive against the other major codes.
“At an international level, the RLIF hasn’t really played the sort of role I think it should in advancing the international game. Our fans want to see the international game,” Mr Beattie told Macquarie Sports Radio‘s Cam Reddin.
Mr Beattie’s plan revolves around an explosion of interest throughout the Pacific, with the game thriving in places like Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Papua New Guinea.
Mr Beattie believes the Pacific region will be the game’s largest growth area over coming decades.
A Pacific-oriented side competing in the NRL through expansion is not off the table.
“The international game should be used as a vehicle to expand in the Pacific. We then need to look at what the footprint in Australia would be,” he said.
He also wants to reignite the rivalry between Australia and England.
“I think it’s a disgrace we haven’t had a Kangaroos tour of the UK since 2003,” Mr Beattie said.
The first tour in 17 years is scheduled for 2020, with the potential for another between now and then.
During the week, NRL CEO Todd Greenberg announced the establishment of a working group to report back with recommendations on proposals including a transfer window for players and anti-tampering measures for NRL coaches.
In response, Mr Beattie said the ARL Commission would take an “open mind” to all proposals that hit its desk in the New Year.
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