NRL voices support for Storm

The National Rugby League has voiced its support for Melbourne Storm as the NRL partnership ruled against expanding the current competition in 2006.

NRL chief executive David Gallop quashed any suggestion that the Storm?s future was uncertain in Melbourne, citing the club?s licence, which has been guaranteed until the end of the 2011 season at least.

?Melbourne has a licence through until the end of 2011 and while they have got some challenges in terms of their off-field performance, the team is travelling really well and we are going to help in terms of those off-field issues so that the Storm?s off-field performance matches their on-field performance,? Gallop explained.

The partnership ruled out the addition of a 16th team in 2006 but said that the Telstra Premiership should be represented on the Gold Coast, the Central Coast and Wellington some time in the future.

The partnership decided that the issue will be re-examined in 2005 with a view to determining whether a 16th team should be added to the competition in 2007.

Meanwhile NRL Judiciary Chairman, Judge Greg Woods, today denied Danny Williams? application to seek leave to appeal his 18-week suspension handed down last Wednesday.

Williams was suspended for 18 matches for striking Wests forward Mark O?Neill in Round 19 earlier this year and despite receiving a formal submission from Alan Sullivan QC late last week, Judge Woods found that there was no prospect of success for the appeal.

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James Avery: Phone (03) 9421 3222 Mobile: 0411 623 024 [email protected]