The 15th Super rugby team in 2011 could come from a second Queensland franchise after a surprise mystery bid joined expected applications from six other Australian sides ahead of SANZAR's deadline yesterday.
The Australian Rugby Union says it's also received formal expressions of interest lodged by Western Sydney, New South Wales Country, three from Victoria and one from the Gold Coast.
Confidentiality agreements prevent the ARU from announcing the mystery party.
Despite the Western Sydney Rams mounting a compelling case for inclusion, it's understood a team from Melbourne remains favoured to get the nod.
Queensland and New South Wales already have teams in the current Super 14 competition
Samoa backed down last week on making a stand-alone bid but have been talking to Australasian syndicates but Western Sydney are hopeful their large Polynesian population would get behind their bid.
SANZAR will evaluate all expressions of interest submitted by the South Africa, New Zealand and Australian unions before deciding how many should submit a full bid document.
Bids will be due by the end of September with a final decision from SANZAR expected in late October.