on air now

AFL New Zealand chief says the sport has a future across the Tasman

The head of AFL New Zealand has backed calls for a team to be based in Auckland.

AFLNZ chief Robert Vanstam told Neil Mitchell there was absolutely a future for the sport across the Tasman.

It follows comments from AFL boss Gillon McLachlan on Friday, in which he said Auckland was the most likely place for an internationally-based team.

Vanstam agreed.

‘We probably see Auckland as a standout opportunity with a larger population base,’ he said on 3AW Mornings.

‘But there’s no rush to fully commit.’

Vanstam said Australian Rules Football had stronger links across the ditch than many might expect.

‘If we worked on the same type of eligibility status that rugby league does – we’ve got 22 players in the AFL that could play for New Zealand tomorrow,’ he explained.

He said the likes of Sam Mitchell, Dustin Martin, Nathan Van Berlo, Marley Williams and Max Gawn were among them.

Click PLAY below to hear more from Robert Vanstam on 3AW Mornings