No 16th team

The National Rugby League competition is not expected to expand beyond its 15 teams, with submissions from the Central Coast, Gold Coast and Wellington expected to be knocked on the head next month.

All three cities believed they were vying for the 16th position in the NRL competition, but it would appear that no such position exists.

The NRL have not confirmed that a 16th team will not be admitted into the premiership however it's understood that they do not believe the code can afford to sustain another top-level team.

Businessman and owner of Sydney radio station 2GB John Singleton yesterday launched his idea for a Central Coast based team to the media. He has already given a presentation to the NRL.

Singleton yesterday compared not having a rugby league team on the Central Coast to not having a McDonalds or KFC restaurant. He said there's a market there and it has to be capitalised on.

NRL boss David Gallop has told The Daily Telegraph that the possibility of a 16th team hasn't been ruled out just yet.

"... the first decision that needs to be made is whether that is the right use of the game's revenue for the game's future," he said. "That is something we need to look at in the first half of 2004."

The NRL will officially make the call next month but it's understood that the chances having an additional team in the competition for 2006 are extremely slim.

Officials originally only wanted 14 teams in the competition, but public outcry and a court process led to the re-instatement of South Sydney in 2002, bringing the total number of teams to 15.

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