Glasgow aims for Super League

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The Independent Online
Glasgow Council's rugby league development officer, Graeme Thompson, believes a European Super League club in the city would provide the catalyst the sport needs in Scotland.

An Australian club, Hunter Mariners, have conducted a feasibility study into setting up a Glasgow franchise and Thompson feels there would be a massive potential audience.

The Mariners' Glasgow side would play at Firhill, Partick Thistle's football ground, and hope to be up and running by 1999 - a prospect which clearly excites Thompson.

He said yesterday: "It has always been a target, now it is looking a realistic one after the success of the recent Scotland internationals.

"I think there is a big audience for the sport. Even though Edinburgh is the home of rugby union, league has its own appeal.

"With it being played in the summer, it could attract football fans along and even those who don't follow it now would soon pick up the rules.

"If Super League is to be truly European it needs to leave the M62 corridor and I'm sure Glasgow could tempt players easily enough. For some, it would be a dream come true to play up here.

"I do a lot of work in schools and there are already a lot of youngsters playing the game, but they need something to aim for and heroes to look up to, which Super League would provide."

Bob Ferres, the Mariners chief executive, said: "We have offered our services to the people who are driving it and we are waiting to hear how we can proceed."

Maurice Lindsay, the chief executive of the Rugby Football League, said: "We are always keen on the spread of Super League and we would be pleased to hear from anybody interested in getting rugby league going in Glasgow."