Melbourne Storm fable Billy Slater has warned the NRL that portion helium has nary occupation with the contention expanding, endowment improvement indispensable beryllium addressed earlier a 17th franchise enters the league.
The 3 teams competing to go the adjacent enlargement nine - Brisbane Jets, Brisbane Firehawks and Redcliffe Dolphins - contiguous addressed the commission, putting guardant their last bids to beryllium granted NRL licenses.
It's understood the NRL has targetted 2023-2024 for the adjacent franchise to officially beryllium portion of the competition.
Slater said helium hoped Redcliffe are handed the honour, but helium believes the NRL has a batch of enactment successful beforehand of it earlier a squad tin articulation the league.
The erstwhile Kangaroos and Maroons fullback fears the deficiency of reserve-grade competition, which has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, volition interaction the "talent pool" coming through.
"I'm not against enlargement and if I had to prime 1 of those teams, and I don't cognize a full batch astir them, but I cognize Redcliffe are an established, organised outfit already," helium told 2GB's Wide World of Sports' radio.
"They've got a large leagues nine and they're financially stable. They've already taken a fewer NRL games implicit to Redcliffe implicit the past mates of weeks. If I'm going to prime 1 I would propulsion for them.
"The large occupation needs to beryllium addressed successful presumption of processing our talent. Now, we haven't had immoderate reserve-grade shot implicit the past 2 seasons, truthful that's surely going to lend to the endowment excavation and however it's being developed.
"You person a look astatine immoderate of these teams connected the bottommost of the ladder: the Broncos, Cowboys, Bulldogs and the Tigers. You instrumentality 3 of the champion players retired of those teams, good you're going to weaken the competition, arsenic well.
"I'm not against expansion, but the NRL needs to code this, the improvement of our talent, and bring those weaker clubs up. This is lone going to dilute it."
Fittler backs Bennett's telephone for NRL expansion
Slater says it's captious the NRL doesn't trust connected clip to lick the issues to players coming through, alternatively they enactment the "effort into development" now.
"Time is the happening that's not going to code these problems; it's absorption and vigor into those areas that is to going to code these problems," helium added.
"If we conscionable say, 'Let's hold different 12 months and the endowment volition travel through' ... You've got to enactment clip and effort into development.
"You've got to enactment clip and effort into players coming through, bringing them up to NRL standard, truthful that erstwhile they bash instrumentality to the field, they're astatine that NRL quality.
"There are a fig of players playing successful the NRL that aren't determination yet, truthful if we're going to enactment different 30 players connected a list, they're going to person to travel from determination and they're going to travel from the existent NRL clubs."
For a regular dose of the champion of the breaking quality and exclusive contented from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!