Expansion club for 2023 to be revealed as Redcliffe Dolphins, Michael Chammas reports

The Redcliffe Dolphins are set to be unveiled as the expansion club the NRL will introduce in 2023, the Sydney Morning Herald‘s Michael Chammas reports.

Chammas is confident the Dolphins are set to beat the Brisbane Jets and Brisbane Firehawks for the 17th NRL lisence, after a deal struck with News Corp ensured an extra $75-$100 million would be injected into the game over five years. That’s on top of the $1 billion deal already agreed with News Corp for the 2023-2027 broadcast rights.

As Chammas broke down the situation on 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio, he said he would be staggered if the Dolphins weren’t revealed as the expansion club.

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“It looks like it’s going to be the Redcliffe Dolphins. I don’t think they’ll be called that when they’re the official expansion team, but that’s the bid that’s (been) put forward,” Chammas said.

“There’s a meeting on Thursday with the NRL and all the clubs to go over the finances. There’s a $75 million to $100 million deal with News Corp that’s about to be struck that will provide the finances to assist the clubs and obviously assist the expansion team.

“Then on Friday, the assessment committee will have to put forward a recommendation on what bid it will be.

“You can assume it’s going to be the Dolphins; that’s the front-runner.

“And then from that point, once the recommendation is determined, they’ll hold a commission meeting and make that decision.

“I would be stunned if the Dolphins aren’t in (the NRL) in 2023.”

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It’s been believed for some time that outgoing Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett will lead the new expansion club.

Jason Demetriou is taking over from Bennett as South Sydney’s coach and the seven-time premiership mentor is on his way to Queensland.

“(The expansion club will) cause a frenzy in the market with players, because managers will be lining up players with the expansion team, there’ll be players looking at other options, it’ll be a big year in recruitment,” Chammas said.

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“Throw on top of that Wayne Bennett. He obviously has a lot of friends in the game, a lot of players would love to play under Wayne Bennett.

“It’s going to be a very interesting 12 months in regards to player movement when this all gets off the ground.”

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