Nine-Team Race for 2025 Vegas After Bulldogs Opt Out

Nine-Team Race for 2025 Vegas After Bulldogs Opt Out

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have withdrawn from the competition to be one of the four NRL clubs travelling to Las Vegas for the two season-opening games in 2025 as per The Daily Telegraph.

Instead, the Bulldogs plan to make the trip to the United States in either 2026 or 2027, prioritising the development of their young squad under the guidance of new coach Cameron Ciraldo.

With the deadline for clubs to submit their formal applications for the 2025 Las Vegas games set for the close of business on Friday, the NRL has made it clear that clubs who don’t apply won’t be considered for next season’s trip. The Penrith Panthers have already secured their spot in the Las Vegas games, leaving three positions up for grabs.

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Nine clubs have expressed interest in the remaining spots, including the Storm, Knights, Raiders, Eels, Sharks, Cowboys, Dolphins, Warriors, and Dragons. The Cowboys, being the highest-profile Queensland club on the list, could have an advantage, but they will only participate if they are considered an “away” team to preserve their home games in Townsville.

The Warriors are also in the running due to their potential to expand the NRL’s reach in the New Zealand market. Additionally, with the NRLW set to expand to a 12-team competition in 2025, welcoming the Warriors and Bulldogs, there is a possibility for NRLW players to be involved in the Las Vegas games.

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The NRL’s decision to continue playing games in Las Vegas comes on the heels of the successful 2024 season opener, which garnered record TV ratings in Australia. The governing body has signed a five-year agreement to play two games per season at Allegiant Stadium.

As the competition heats up for the coveted spots in the 2025 Las Vegas games, fans eagerly await the announcement of the selected clubs. The NRL’s commitment to expanding its reach and showcasing the sport on an international stage continues to generate excitement among players and supporters alike.

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