Christchurch almighty: New South Island NRL bid unveils logo, colours, mascot to be ready for 2026 … and rival Crusaders


A former NRL CEO is spearheading the bid for a second New Zealand team to enter the NRL with the expanson outfit unveiling its branding as the South Island Kea.

Based in Christchurch, the club would use the multi-use 25,000-seat covered Te Kaha Stadium which is set to be ready by April of 2026 and they are hopeful of getting the green light from the ARL Commission to be the NRL’s 18th team.

A side based in Cairns representing Papua New Guinea is the favourite to be the next club added to the competition when an expansion timetable is laid out later this year with bids from Perth and Ipswich also in the mix.

Former NRL chief David Moffett will meet with NRL execs later this month to present their plan for inclusion.

The new stadium in Christchurch will have a covered roof and Moffett believes it will be a huge feather in their cap in their attempts to convince the NRL to bring in a second NZ side.

“A great new stadium would be a huge asset for the NRL,” he told Radio NZ.

“No other NRL team has a covered stadium. We would bring more matches there than the Crusaders would.”

The Warriors have voiced their opposition to another New Zealand team in the near future but Moffett claimed it would be a benefit.

“If they were inclined to have two teams then, we will be ready,” Moffett said.

“There’s only one New Zealand team, so they take a lot of Kiwis over there to play in the competition. We think instead of going across that ditch, they should go across the shorter ditch, the Cook Strait, and come to Christchurch.”

The kea is known as one of the smartest birds and the mascot gives the new side a distinctive Kiwi theme.

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