Turvey backs growth of NRL in WA

This weekend two heavyweights take to the field as Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs face the Melbourne Storm at nib Stadium.

Former Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs halfback Steve Mortimer is pleased to see the growth of the game in Western Australia recently had a chat in Sydney with the Pirates academy team.

The man who captained New South Wales during the State of Origins series in 1984 and 1985 said that the new governance of Rugby League in Perth would be a main factor for the development of the game in WA.

This is exemplified with the Melbourne Storm v Canterbury Bulldogs curtain raiser featuring the West Coast Pirates and the Illawarra Cutters SG Ball sides.

“It is wonderful seeing Perth having a youth team playing Rugby League. I have no doubt that Western Australians are very much on the focus of expanding their game across Australia,” he said.

Mortimer said he has hopes for a Perth representation at the professional level in the next 3 to 5 years. 

“There are plenty of committed people here in Perth who have a passion for developing Rugby League,” he said.

“I walk down Perth street sometimes and get pulled up by people that follow NSW, which means Rugby League has a profile in WA but it will only get better once we get the West Coast Pirates representing the NRL.”

However, Turvey predicts that New South Wales and Queensland still are far ahead any other states in Australia in terms of Rugby League popularity.

 “There is a long way to go to promote market and advertise Rugby League in WA and other states than Queensland and NSW,” he said.

“The opposition between Queensland and New South Wale is a rivalry that makes everyone in Australia sit down and watch, mainly because those two states represent two-third of the Australian population.”

Mortimer, who played 9 games and scored 11 points for the Blues during the State of Origin series in the 80’s, hopes that 2014 will be New South Wales’s year.

“The longer it takes for a victory, the better the victory is. I think NSW are going in the right way, with a wonderful coach and the governance of the players.“ 

“The emerging squad for NSW also means there is a focus on the future.

Queensland did that 12 years ago and look at where they are now.”

 “New South Wales have the numbers to give it to those Queenslanders,” he said

If you would like to get tickets to the game, visit tickemaster.com.au for more details, with kickoff at 4.30pm this Saturday.