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NRL bosses return from US with new details about Vegas games: ‘It’s really positive’

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The NRL remain confident they will be able to launch next year’s season in Las Vegas, but still have several hurdles to clear before confirming the fixture.

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo and chairman Peter V’landys have returned from their fact-finding mission in the US.

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South Sydney and Manly remain the two most likely clubs to play in a double-header, with Brisbane, Melbourne and the Sydney Roosters options to join them.

If the NRL do take the game to the US, it would mark the first premiership game played outside of Australia or New Zealand in the league’s 116-year history.

However, Abdo said any decision would likely have to be made within weeks.

Several issues would still need to be ticked off, with questions over the venue, drawing crowds, and logistics around the season launch.

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo recently returned from a fact-finding mission in the US. Credit: Getty Images

“We’ve obviously been learning as we’ve been going and understanding what it takes to make this happen,” Abdo said at Tuesday’s Indigenous Round launch.

“The more planning we can do, the more successful it will be.

“It’s really positive so far, but there’s a lot of work to do.

“We’re going to put everything into making it happen, and we should know within the next couple of weeks if we can pull it off.

“There’s a lot of work that has to happen to make that a reality, but that’s what our job is.

“We think there’s an opportunity for us to win fans on the west coast of America, which would be a huge opportunity for us.”

The NRL have previously tried to enter the US market, most recently with billboards of the Sydney Roosters as the “world champions of football” in early 2019.

The Rabbitohs are one of the NRL clubs likely to play a game in the US. Credit: AAP

Rugby league also played an exhibition State of Origin game in California in 1987, but Abdo has been adamant this would not be a one-off hit into the US.

Beyond growing the game there, the proposition of breaking into the American gambling market could also loom as a financial win for the game.

Abdo said he was confident the prospect of a Las Vegas match had the backing of the clubs and broadcasters in Australia.

“I’m also confident because I think we genuinely have all the stakeholders really excited for the proposition we’ve put forward,” he said.

“There’s much excitement happening in America at the moment, and certainly all the talk with our potential partners has been positive.

“Interestingly enough, everyone here is really excited, the players, the clubs and all the stakeholders like broadcast partners.

“I feel like there’s a lot of momentum, but we have to make sure we do it properly. That’s what we’re going to work through over the coming weeks.”

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Source: 7News