If there is one thing that IMG are currently doing, it is rebuilding the brand of rugby league.
The entertainment company has come in all guns blazing, determined to ‘reimagine’ the sport after a decade in the wilderness.
There have reportedly been talks about potentially sensational avenues that IMG could bring in with that word ‘merger’ once more on the cards.
For leading rugby league agent, Craig Harrison, that is not a bad thing if it means that a catchment area is stronger with better facilities and greater crowds.
“I know this has been asked and I won’t say how I know, but it’s been asked by the companies that could any of these clubs merge?” Harrison said on The Full Eighty Minutes podcast.
“Doncaster and Sheffield could they merge? I think if the Cumbria clubs merge, you think logically that there are certain clubs if they wanted to get in (to a Super League B division) then they would be asked if they can amalgamate with their neighbours?
“These plans don’t have to happen now as you would be in a franchise so you can get a local council and say we will build a stadium in between Whitehaven, Workington and Barrow.
“They get the plans to get passed, you don’t need the stadium right away you have to have permission and things in place and this is what I hope is happening it could be sensational if we get it right.”
Of course, mergers have been on the table in the past and have been hastily shut down, with the talk of Cumbria, Calder (Wakefield, Castleford and Featherstone), Cheshire (Wigan and Widnes), Humber (Hull FC and Hull KR) and South Yorkshire (Doncaster and Sheffield) all being shut down.
Is now the right time for those plans to resurface?