CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
The NRL has today revealed the new team that will join the league in 2023 will be The Dolphins, a storied rugby league club from Brisbane’s northern bayside suburb of Redcliffe.
The addition of the 17th team will mean the season will expand from 24 to 26 rounds, with the the long-awaited ‘Brisbane 2nd team’ beating rival bids from The Firehawks and The Jets.
This announcement is set to put the embattled Broncos on notice, as well as the Gold Coast Titans who have only just started to find form a decade after their introduction as the most recent expansion side before this.
There is now a total of four clubs in the NRL from Queensland, however the Melbourne Storm has always been unofficially recognised as a product of Queensland rugby league.
The Australian Rugby League Commission approved the grant of a licence to The Dolphins after accepting a recommendation from the expansion bid assessment committee.
“Today is an exciting moment in the history of our game,” ALRC chairman Peter V’Landys said.
“The NRL Premiership will expand to 17 teams in 2023 and I would like to congratulate The Dolphins on being granted the 17th licence.
It is not known if the Dolphins will keep the ‘Redcliffe’ in their name, or if they will adapt a new title of ‘Northside’ or ‘Bayside’ in an effort to appeal to a larger catchment of fans.
However, with the head operations, training ovals, home ground and leagues clubs all based out of the Moreton Bay peninsula – Redcliffe will soon become a household name right around Australia.
Peter V’Landys acknowledged the fact that Redcliffe might be a foreign word to at least 50% of the NRL fanbase, and took the effort to give the media a brief run down of the club at today’s press conference.
“For those of you who have never left Sydney”
“Basically, Redcliffe is Queensland’s version of Cronulla. But less white”
“Lots of tradies that made a bit of coin in the 2000s, and a lot of retirees who live and breathe the Dolphins”
“So yeah, it’s like the Shire, but much less likely to host a white supremacist race riot”
“Their version of ET is Petero Civoniceva”
“Also the Bee Gees lived in Redcliffe for like 18 months as kids. There’s a statue of them”