Southern Orcas

NRL Expansion Team

Stumbling over the line for this set, here’s my last team.

The NZ Rivalry

I covered it in my post on the Warriors but general idea was to split the nation into two halves. The rest of NZ doesn’t have a specific region with enough population or possibly even interest to have a team dedicated to a single city. As a result, NZ would be better (imo) with running a primarily metro (Auckland and surrounding areas) vs regional (smaller cities in the rest of NZ) setup.  A north-south split below Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne roughly divides the country’s population in two as well as giving the Southern franchise the key cities of Wellington, Christchurch and (to a lesser extent) Dunedin. As New Zealand’s population further favours the north, particularly Auckland, I would expect the southern half to grow northward to compensate. Below is an outline of the Orcas’ catchment.

Southern Orcas

  • Wellington (8 games in Wellington), Canterbury (3 games in Christchurch), Otago (1 game in Dunedin), Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu-Wanganui, Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast, Southland
  • Catchment of approx 2.0 mil.
  • Wellington (8 games)/Palmerston North (8 games)/Canterbury (3 games)/Dunedin (1 game) all within 2 hours of a regular season home game.
  • Whanganui (8 games)/Stratford (8 games)/Napier-Hastings (8 games)/Blenheim (3 games)/Greymouth (3 games)/Invercargill (1 game) all within 4 hours of a regular season home game.
  • Preseason games in smaller cities within catchment


The Orcas name is clearly a throwback to the failed NRL entry bid for 2007 as well as the current Wellington rep side. Its a unique name and suits the coastal location of the three key cities. The “Southern” placeholder is inclusive of all regions south of the Warrior’s territory and unites them against the north. It also doesn’t specifically favour the south island and they could be marketed as a southern pacific club.

The original Orcas logo is cartoonish and unfitting of a (inter)national league, just as is the case with the current Central Coast Bears bid. On the other hand, orcas don’t have a lot of distinctive details outside of a couple of white markings and shark/dolphin likeness. Turns out that a simplistic creature is hard to make into a logo in my experience so I’ve kept it simple. The tail is cut off to balance the logo better (less width, more height) and kind of conveys a leaping motion. Theres not much else to say other than the logo being neutral and non-offensive.


There were four options when assigning the colours

  1. Take the colours of one region (Wellington or Christchurch) and piss off the rest
  2. Combine the colours of Wellington and Christchurch (black/red/gold) and look like the Chiefs and/or WC Pirates
  3. Wear colours according to which city the team plays in, convoluting the identity
  4. Assign neutral colours

I went with option 4 as it was both the simplest option and a means to apply appropriate colours for an ocean themed, pan-NZ team. The black and white are a given in NZ, just how the Warriors use it in their angle as the national club. I also used a greenish teal which fits the moniker and, for whatever reason, I’ve always considered certain shades of green to be associated with NZ; given the greenstone in the south and the green hills everywhere. These are pretty much the colours proposed by the original Wellington Orcas bid which goes to show that I think they nailed the name and colours the first time.


The uniforms are inspired by the multitude of hooped rugby clubs in NZ, plenty of which incorporate more than two colours into the hoops which is something the NRL lacks. Big thick, multicolour stripes show off all three colours nicely while still rendering the primary jersey dark enough to not be mixed up with a white jersey. The secondary achieves these hoops while contrasting with the primary by using pinstripes.

I didn’t include any alternates as I don’t have enough time to design or research the history of Wellington or Canterbury league teams although I would have one jersey from each.