The announcement that the South Sydney Rabbitohs have committed to play a game in Perth until 2014 with the latest to be on June 24 against the Brisbane Broncos was great news for Perth Rugby League fans.
However, there may be better news and at the same time bad news for those same fans. Legend Gordon Tallis saying at the Press conference that he believed that there should be a team in Perth, but that they should relocate a team from Sydney such as the financially strapped Cronulla Sharks, and rebrand them as the Perth Sharks.
WA Rugby League CEO John Sackson’s raised eyebrows implied that he was none too keen on such a move and would like to see a brand new side here in the West, something that NRL Chief David Gallop has also alluded to.
Tallis’s idea has merit, but he has probably underestimated how parochial Western Australians are. It would not be a popular decision to re-locate a team to Perth.
The question is did Tallis have a slip of the tongue in his press conference and did anyone else pick it up.
He was talking about his relocation idea and specifically about recruitment of players when he said “I would look only at kids who have played our game when I come over here.” Saying that these dedicated Rugby League youngsters deserve reward for their dedication and a pathway to the top. He spoke out strongly against recruiting from other codes. Did he imply that he will be moving west?
When asked if he wanted to be a full time coach in Perth, he said he would love to move West, and that he had “learnt a hell of a lot’ in his current coaching role with the Rabbitohs, but he would need to “take it a lot more seriously” if he was to be the head coach. He then dismissed the idea saying “They will get someone a lot better than me.”
As we said last time he was on the show, we have a feeling that Gordon Tallis will be a part of the Western Reds should their bid to be included in the NRL get over the line.