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Expansion team, Redcliffe Dolphins, winning bid

The NRL looks poised to announce Redcliffe Dolphins will become the competition’s 17th team in 2023.

Reports say the Australian Rugby League Commission has officially endorsed the Dolphins as the winning bid, ousting the Firehawks and Jets to become Queensland’s fourth current team in the NRL.

Channel Nine reporter Ben Dobbin tweeted the news, saying an “official announcement (will be made) in the coming days”.

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Last week the ARLC addressed all 16 current clubs and notified them of the decision to officially expand the competition.

On Friday, an expansion committee met to run the rule over all three bidders, with the Dolphins reportedly picked as the most attractive.

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When the announcement is made the Dolphins will need to begin planning to enter the NRL in 2023 – effectively in 12 months’ time which is when their first pre-season will begin to kick off.

They’ll need a full senior squad of 30 players, as well as a coach and staff.

Supercoach Wayne Bennett is heavily tipped to be head coach of the expansion team, having finished his South Sydney tenure with last week’s grand final loss and now being effectively unemployed.

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