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Just not cricket: NRL launches new logo, puts brakes on expansion

The new logos for the National Rugby League and the NSW Rugby League.

The new logos for the National Rugby League and the NSW Rugby League.

This is the new NRL logo that was unveiled today.

ARL Commission chairman John Grant launched the new logo to be worn by every player from under 6s to the NRL premiership, along with a five year strategic plan. The design is the same as the one registered earlier this year.

The logo was lodged by the ARLC as a trademark on July 13 and officially accepted on September 21.

New logos for the Queensland Rugby League and Country Rugby League.

New logos for the Queensland Rugby League and Country Rugby League.

Featuring two gold chevrons and the southern cross on a green shield, the logo has been compared to that of Cricket Australia.

The same logo will be used across the game but in different colours, such as sky blue and royal blue for the NSWRL, for state and other affiliated bodies.

The Queensland logo will be maroon and grey, and the CRL's is maroon and gold.

The logo for the New Zealand Warriors.

The logo for the New Zealand Warriors.

The same design will be used for the Under 20s Toyota Cup competition.

The State of Origin and Test team logos will remain as they are considered iconic but every other level of the game will eventually feature the new NRL branding.

The move is a bid to end years of confusion, particularly at grassroots level, where development officers often complain that juniors don't understand the relationship between the NRL and ARL, NSWRL or CRL because of the different logos.

The ARL Commission also said it won’t revisit the prospect of NRL expansion until the end of the 2014 season after delivering its strategic plan for the next five years.

In a blow to the host of consortiums that have been positioning themselves for a berth in the NRL competition for the past few years, Grant said it is more important the code work to strengthen the position of the 16 current teams before committing to adding more clubs.

Part of that process will involve a review of funding to clubs which will become performance-based after the 2013 season.

‘‘The commission has made a decision that at this time, it’s not in the game’s best interests to commit to any of the proposals that have come forward regarding expansion,’’ Grant said.

‘‘In making this decision we’re cognisant of the investment of time and money that some of the consortiums have committed to over the last 12 months or so.

‘‘We do not want them or their supporters lost to the game and commit that following the 2014 season we we’ll conduct a formal and full review on expansion.

‘‘The findings of this review will allow us to be much more specific about our requirement and the opportunity and timing of any expansion plans.

‘‘In the interim we’d like them to redirect their involvement and support to those parts of the games that exist today.’’

Given the ARLC won’t even consider the prospect of more teams until after 2014, it would seem that there will be no new teams in the competition until at least 2017.

It was suggested that some of the consortiums could enter teams in the NSW and Queensland Cups as an avenue towards a place in the NRL.

with AAP

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