The West

NRL clubs back WA Reds
NRL clubs back WA Reds

A top-flight rugby league team based in Western Australia is closer to being a reality once again after the 16 NRL clubs unanimously endorsed the WARL to enter the competition in 2013.

The vote of confidence comes as the NRL gauged the popularity of expanding the competition to 18 teams at a league conference in Byron Bay.

Perth has not had a top-tier rugby league side since the Super League war forced the Western Reds folded in 1997, but the WARL have been working steadily over the past few years to bring the NRL west once again.

They are expected to present their bid early next year.

The WARL bid has gathered strong support from within NRL ranks, including chief executive David Gallop, who said earlier this year Perth was a frontrunner.

Competition for the new club licences is likely to come from Queensland bids Rockhampton, Logan and Ipswich or a bid to revive the North Sydney Bears on the NSW Central Coast.

The West Australian

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