Ipswich Jets chairman Steve Johnson speaking of the Western Corridor NRL bid.
Ipswich Jets chairman Steve Johnson speaking of the Western Corridor NRL bid. Sarah Harvey

Johnson: Ipswich doesn't want Cronulla Sharks here

THE Western Corridor NRL bid will not entertain the relocation of Sydney-based sides as part of its push to enter the NRL competition.

Perth-based millionaire Tony Sage has been vocal about taking over a relocated Cronulla Sharks outfit if that became necessary in the wake of a possible collapse of the club.

But Western Corridor NRL bid chairman Steve Johnson has quashed any suggestion the Ipswich-based bid team would follow suit.

"We are very respectful of the Sharks' position and it is probably not a time for bid teams to be speculating about their future," he said.

"But it has always been our vision that with the addition of a couple of good-quality players that we can successfully develop our own playing group from within the Western Corridor and Queensland generally.

"A relocation is not within our vision and probably not a good thing for the whole of the game because you would want a new side in south-east Queensland to be truly stand-alone to engender all the great spirit that is here."

Johnson said relocation "would not be embraced by the people of this area".

"One of the reasons our bid is here is, when you take out New Zealand, the fact that 60% of NYC players are coming out of Queensland," he said.

"Our vision is to keep more of our kids at home with mum and dad so they can grow up in that environment and not relocate south.

"When you look at our numbers it is quite compelling that Queensland needs a fourth, if not fifth, side."

Expansion has been put back on the table by NRL chief executive David Smith.

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