Consortium keen to start new NRL side in Perth

Today at 9am, West Australian businessman Tony Sage will hold a secret meeting with NRL chief executive David Gallop about starting a new club in Perth for 2015.

Former Test and Balmain hooker Ben Elias is working closely with Sage, the pair expected to be co-owners of any new WA club. Elias has already spoken to Ricky Stuart about coaching the Perth franchise.

It is expected Perth would need a start-up slush fund of about $20 million - a figure Sage thinks would be easily obtainable.

“I know virtually every major sponsor in WA,” said Sage, who owns 13 mining companies.

NIB Stadium in Perth will undergo a $100 million revamp for 2014 and the WA government is ready to support a bid. The game’s new independent commission will need to immediately look at expansion for 2015.With different time zones, rugby league matches could be screened on TV across the day from Auckland to the east coast and then Perth.

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