Bombers’ bold plan to poach Storm star
The NRL's expansion plans could see Cameron Munster lost to Melbourne with the Brisbane Bombers targeting the Storm sensation to be the poster boy for the code's proposed 17th team.
The Sunday Mail can reveal the Bombers consortium have identified Queensland Origin star Munster as the No.1 target to spearhead a second Brisbane team in the looming battle for a new NRL licence.
ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys is determined to deliver a second Brisbane team to join the Broncos as early as 2022, prompting the prospective bid teams to begin eyeing potential recruits.
Ipswich's western-corridor bid is keen to lure Roosters pivot Luke Keary to his hometown and now the Bombers have devised plans to bring Rockhampton-product Munster back to Queensland.
Munster was outstanding in Melbourne's 22-8 defeat of Souths on Friday night, reinforcing Bombers bid chief Nick Livermore's belief that the Maroons ace is a priority signing for a second Brisbane team.
"A guy like Cameron Munster would be the perfect poster boy," Livermore said.
"He has played for Queensland and Australia and won a premiership, he has done it all in the game and we would love to have him to spearhead the club if we were lucky enough to win an NRL licence.
"Queenslanders will get behind a winning team no matter what, but a second Brisbane team with an iconic Queenslander would be an absolute marketer's dream.
"Securing a player like Cameron Munster would be a coup for any second Brisbane team in attracting young rugby league fans."
One major impediment for any prospective NRL franchise chasing Munster is his contractual security at the Storm.
Munster signed a $3.6 million, four-year deal in November 2018, keeping the classy five-eighth or fullback in Melbourne until the end of 2023.
Should the NRL formally decide to expand in 2022 or 2023, Munster would have to request an early release to return to Queensland.
Livermore will consider offering a letter of intent to Munster, who is currently 25 and entering his prime years as an NRL superstar.
"We respect the fact he is contracted to Melbourne until the end of 2023," he said.
"Depending on when the ARL Commission decides on an expansion date, we would have to work around that.
"We accept we don't have an NRL licence, but if a team is two years away, you need to begin building your roster over the next 12 months.
"I don't know too many Queensland kids who wouldn't want to be part of a start-up second Brisbane team.
"Cameron Munster has matured a lot, he has learned a lot from Craig Bellamy at a Storm club that sets the benchmark high for excellence.
"The beauty of Munster is he can relate to the common league fan, he has a bit of colour and flavour as a personality and rugby league needs more players like him."
Originally published as Bombers' bold plan to poach Storm star