- ARLC boss is in the US to promote the NRL
- Was invited to the White House
- Made off with a cheeky keepsake
He may be on a diplomatic mission to bring the NRL to the United States, but that didn’t stop ARL Commission Chair Peter V’landys from pinching an item from the White House at the urging of television personality Karl Stefanovic.
V’landys is currently in the US trying to sell the NRL 2024 season opening double-header at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
The Manly Sea Eagles will be taking on the South Sydney Rabbitohs while the Sydney Roosters will be going head-to-head with the Broncos for competition points.
As part of the charm offensive, V’landys was invited to the White House where he got to meet US President Joe Biden.
And he admits that he nicked a small keepsake while visiting the First Family in Washington.
ARLC Chairman Peter V’Landys was dared to steal something from the White House by Today co-host Karl Stefanovic
On a live cross to Today on Channel Nine, V’landys revealed how he had followed through on a dare.
‘I actually sent Pete a message yesterday saying, ‘Can you steal something from the White House for me?’,’ Today co-host Karl Stefanovic said.
‘And did you?’ added co-host Sarah Abo.
‘Yes, I did, actually; just a knife and fork,’ V’landys quipped.
The Today show co-hosts burst into hysterics and Abo added, ‘Not getting that back’.
V’landys is not the only Aussie diplomat in the US at the moment, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also visiting America and meeting the President.
President Joe Biden and Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wrap up after speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House during a news conference in Washington
Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, will host an NRL double-header to launch the 2024 season
‘ Our prime minister, who’s been fantastic over here — he has really been so impressive and a statesman,’ V’landys added.
‘I’ve been to every function and he’s just been on fire promoting Australia.
‘He actually said, ‘To all the Australians in the room, please don’t take the cutlery’, but I didn’t listen; I just took the knife and the fork.’
V’landys is confident that the NRL can break new ground in the United States despite many failed attempts to bring the sport to America in the past.
‘It’s exceeded our expectations, the popularity of it, and going to Vegas has really been a winner for us,’ V’landys said.
‘We’ve got 340 million potential customers in the US. If we get one per cent of those customers we will exceed our revenues in Australia. That’s how big the market is over here and we’re very confident in our product.
‘We think we’ve got the greatest game for all and I think the Americans will love it.
‘It’s a five-year plan and by going into their market, into Vegas, the sports capital of the world and selling our game, I think we can get those subscriptions.’