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Joey Manu to Castleford Tigers suggested as NRL look to buy Super League

The NRL is reportedly exploring the possibility of purchasing the English Super League and has now reported by the Daily Telegraph in a move that would see crazy transfers like one huge suggested Castleford Tigers transfer.

This potential investment would be a historic and game-changing move for rugby league on both sides of the world. The NRL has been investigating the financial viability of taking control of both competitions. The goal is to elevate the game to its greatest potential, as demonstrated by the upcoming historic Round 1 kick-off in Las Vegas.

The purchase of the English Super League could lead to the promotion and reinvestment of much-needed funds into rugby league in the UK. Many of the clubs in the English Super League have a long history of financial stress and the threat of insolvency.

While it is still early, the purchase could lead to the alignment of both competitions. This would increase the likelihood of the best NRL and English Super League players moving between both competitions in a single season. The NRL is also considering creating a ‘sister city’ model where a Super League club is aligned with an NRL club for the development of players.

The NRL has been approached by a third-party about the acquisition of the English rugby league competition. This development follows the NRL’s announcement of a $58.2 million operating surplus after a record-breaking 2023 season, which saw increased revenue, television viewership, attendances, and participation figures. The NRL now has assets totalling $260m, including the Gambaro Hotel in Brisbane and recent hotel purchases at Cronulla and on the Sunshine Coast.

All of this comes after the NRL was on the verge of insolvency due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020.

Joey Manu to Castleford Tigers

Castleford Tigers stadium the Jungle

The possibility of the NRL taking over control of the English Super League has already been met with support by Fox League expert Matty Johns with suggestions that it could see transfers like Joey Manu to Castleford Tigers.

“The rumour I’m hearing and it’s getting stronger is that the NRL is seriously looking to possibly buy the English Rugby League,’’ Johns said on SEN’s Joel and Fletch program.

“And that way it broadens the base and it adds to the depth of both competitions because players can go over and have guest stints.

“One of the things that really helped the game over there (in the 1980s) was the likes of Peter Sterling, Brett Kenny, Phil Blake and those guys going over there and having those short stints with Wigan and Leeds and Castleford.

“Let’s imagine if the Roosters are faced with the situation of letting Joey Manu go to French rugby or we let him go and have a stint at Castleford.

“It’s an opportunity for players to really optimise their income while they’re in the game.”

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