The NRL's next franchise could be named the "Firehawks", according to an Australian report.
Brisbane's Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Inc – one of four reported bids on the table to become the city's second team – has filed a trademark on the name "Brisbane Firehawks" this week, according to Fox Sports Australia.
Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'Landys last week said expansion is back on the table after weathering the coronavirus storm and signing a new TV deal, and expressed a desire to have a second Brisbane team running by 2022.
"There could be a second Brisbane team in 2022," he told The Courier Mail.
"To be honest, with the broadcast deal done, it might expedite our plans with expansion.
"We now have financial certainty.
"A second Brisbane team will generate even more value for the code in my eyes. But I want to make this very clear _ we are fully behind the Broncos and Titans and it is important we do not cannibalise those existing clubs in the southeast Queensland market.
"Ensuring the viability of the 16 clubs, and that includes the Broncos and Titans, is my priority.
"But in my eyes, expansion is on the agenda and I still think Brisbane needs a second team to dominate Queensland.
"The coronavirus pandemic hasn't ruined the expansion plans at all.
"I am very much attracted to another team in Queensland. There is a need for it."
The report on the application for the "Brisbane Firehawks" title is expected to be issued by November 30 by IP Australia, the organisation in charge of administering intellectual property (IP) rights and legislation.
The Firehawk trademark application covers both class 25 and 41 goods and services, meaning both sporting activities and apparel will be protected by the trademark if approved.
A Firehawk is a bird that intentionally spreads bushfires using its beak by grabbing burning sticks from a fire and flying it into a new area to flush out its prey.
In their strategic plan, the Easts Tigers – the club behind the trademark bid – states the importance of bidding for the second Brisbane license, even as a joint venture with another Intrust Super Cup club, suggesting that a bid to become the 17th NRL team could be shared with another club from Queensland.
The Easts Tigers could not keep its original name because of the obvious clash with Sydney's Wests Tigers.
According to Fox Sports Australia, the other contenders – the Dolphins and the Bombers – are considered to be the frontrunners for Brisbane's new NRL team.