LONDON, England — When will the Australian Super Lig become a league in its own right?
That’s the question being raised as the NRL looks to rebrand the game and rebrand its brand after a three-year absence.
NRL chief executive Dave Smith said the league would launch the new league in 2018.
He said it was likely to be a two-tier system, with teams playing in two divisions, the middle division and the top-flight.
“We have made a decision to move forward with this league, but at the same time we have to consider the potential ramifications for other franchises in the league, particularly those that may have ambitions of moving into the Super League,” Smith said in a statement.
While it’s possible the new NRL could eventually become a two division league, Smith said it wouldn’t happen until the end of 2019.
Smith said he would be keen to start discussions with clubs about the future of the NRL, but didn’t say how soon.
The NRL will hold a news conference on Wednesday in Sydney to announce the league’s launch.
As part of the announcement, the NRL will also host an event at its headquarters to mark the NRL’s 20th anniversary, with the event featuring a game between the Broncos and Rabbitohs, and a special unveiling of the Sydney Roosters jerseys.
There are also plans to unveil the NRL branding in the form of an interactive app and online community.
It’s the latest shakeup for the NRL that has been marred by scandals and issues.
In 2016, the league suspended five players for the first time in a decade after players claimed they were pressured by officials into changing their team’s name, and also fined the NRL $10 million over a series of incidents that led to players being stripped of their passports.