General Warriors Eye Pre-season Game In Dubai

Miket12

Miket12

Michael Burgess Email Michael


5:30 AM Sunday Jul 14, 2013


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The Warriors are investigating the possibility of staging a match in Dubai.

They went to Perth last week, ventured down to Wellington earlier this year and are now looking at a match in the United Arab Emirates, most likely a pre-season game against English Super League club Wigan.

The club was approached by a Dubai-based Australian entre-preneur who has been involved with motor racing and other sporting events in the Emirates. Senior club officials met the Australian in England and chief executive Wayne Scurrah visited Dubai for a follow-up meeting. The entrepreneur has since been in Auckland for further discussions.

While talks have only reached a preliminary stage, the club see some merit in the idea, particularly for a pre-season match.

Pre-season games in England have also been on the agenda but the distance is the major handicap - to make the trip worthwhile it is likely two matches would have to be played. Playing a game in the Middle East would be a halfway point for both parties.

It would be seen as a chance to increase merchandise sales, grow the brand and strengthen the relationship with the English club. It could also be seen as an adventure for players and supporters, away from the usual confines of Australasia.

It wouldn't be the first time for such a venture by the NRL either - in 2008 South Sydney played the Leeds Rhinos in Florida while a controversial fourth State of Origin match was held in California in 1987.

Dubai hosted AFL clubs Collingwood and Adelaide for a pre-season fixture in 2008 and Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has been lobbying for a round one game next year to be played there.

Rugby league has a presence in the UAE, with the first season of a domestic competition recently completed. Former Samoan great and St Helens forward Apollo Perelini runs his rugby skills academy in Dubai and is coach of the UAE's under-18 team.

Meanwhile, the Warriors have confirmed the signing of Leeds forwards Jordan Baldwinson and Mason Tonks.
The duo, both 18, are part of a "new direction in their recruitment strategy", according to the club.

"We're seeing more and more evidence of players from Super League clubs having success in the NRL," said Warriors general manager, football operations, Dean Bell. "Adrian Morley, Gareth Ellis and Sam Burgess have led the way while South Sydney is doing a great job developing the other Burgess boys into NRL players as well."

"They're two young boys with big reputations and I'm sure they're going to make a real difference to our squad,"said.junior recruitment and pathways coach Stacey Jones, who will take over the NYC team next season.

"We're committed to developing New Zealand players but we're also keen to have the best players in our system wherever they come from."

Baldwinson, 1.88m and 101kg, has been in the Leeds system since 2007. The prop made his Super League debut this year and captained the England Under-18s against France.

Second rower Tonks (1.88m, 100kg) played for the Leeds under-20 side last season and has been involved with the first team squad this year.

It is an interesting initiative, but will raise some eyebrows; given New Zealand's (and Auckland in particular) stocks of promising young forwards in both rugby codes, bringing some from England feels a bit like taking coal to Newcastle or exporting sushi to Japan.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10897943
 
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warriors8

warriors8

Warriors would be better off subsiding club memberships for more fans to be members. Prices of merchandise is ridiculous. If the entrepreneur is paying the bill then my comment is just hot air. My bad
 
surfin

surfin

Warriors would be better off subsiding club memberships for more fans to be members. Prices of merchandise is ridiculous. If the entrepreneur is paying the bill then my comment is just hot air. My bad


Isn't merchandising is controlled by the NRL? Increasing your fan based probably has a bigger impact on profit than lowering membership prices.
 
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Sup42

Sup42

union go their with the sevens.

Now the Warriors and Wigan are in a position to go there.

The Warriors are looking to make themselves a world brand , they can call it Rugby league promotion but at the end of the day the people of Dubai will remember the names of the teams who play in the game.

It would be fair to say England has a chequered history in the Middle east whereas NZ has a positive image there by in large.

It is a low risk , potential high gains move by the NZ Warriors. Take a Kapa Haka party , the Arabic people love that stuff and turn on a show for them and the ex pats.

While it would be nice for us to play on either our home soil or the mother country , this is a think outside the square opportunity to attract some insanely rich folk ( provided the game is exciting ) to want to see a bit more in years to come.

Win win for both clubs.
 
Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Did you see the sevens in Russia? Zero people in attendance.
 
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Akkerz

Akkerz

Contributor
Hell of a long way to go to sell a few jerseys and an expensive place to stay. Can't see the point of this junket at all. Presumably the horseracing will appeal to a few non-players though.
 
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Miket12

Miket12

Hell of a long way to go to sell a few jerseys and an expensive place to stay. Can't see the point of this junket at all. Presumably the horseracing will appeal to a few non-players though.

Remember, one of the owners has a shipping company that may be looking at expanding it's presence in that area. The other owns a sporting business and is possibly looking at seeing what other 'opportunities' may arise for that part of his business.

Also, Dubai, along with other gulf states, are trying to push the prestige throughout the world with hosting different sporting events.
 
surfin

surfin

Hell of a long way to go to sell a few jerseys and an expensive place to stay. Can't see the point of this junket at all. Presumably the horseracing will appeal to a few non-players though.


Third paragraph of initial post, they were approached, which means the guy will be doing it as much for what he can get out of it as what the teams can gain. Therefore I'm guessing he would be bank rolling it, like the supercars or anything that goes there they have a usually pretty big carrot dangled in front of them. The place is expensive because it's one of the richest cities in the world, so potentially big pluses with small risk if the out goings are coming from somewhere else. Growing the games audience must be good?
 
charlie bobmarley

charlie bobmarley

I was a big fan of Apollo Perelini. Some people thought he was a lunatic
 
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mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Hell of a long way to go to sell a few jerseys and an expensive place to stay. Can't see the point of this junket at all. Presumably the horseracing will appeal to a few non-players though.
I think its a stupid idea and the word junket describes it perfectly. Im all for growing the game but feel they should be realistic about which market they tap into. The Sheikh is hardly going to neglect the worlds largest luxury car collection and make a sport that is nonexistent in his country his new favourite pastime. Are we going to see an explosion of Rugby League clubs sprout up in Dubai? Somehow I dont think so.

Theres only 2 places to play this game IMO. NZ or England. Play it at Mt. Smart, Eden Park, Caketin or Forsyth Barr. Or play it at DW Stadium or try fill Twickerham. We are still Unions unwanted bridesmaid here. ESL is dying a slow death in England. Lets grow the game in our own backyards first then think about going global. Theres still heaps of untapped potential in both countries, especially England...
 
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Mt Albert Lions

Waste of time and money better of playing in Nortland, Whanganui, New Plymouth, Nelson, Napier or Palmerston north. The IRB took a punt of Russia it didn't come off but it won't stop them from trying.
 

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