Calls for Dolphins-Roosters NRL opener

·3-min read

New NRL franchise the Dolphins will play seven games at Suncorp Stadium next year and the family of rugby league Immortal Arthur Beetson is behind a push for the round-one clash to be against the Sydney Roosters at the venue.

Indigenous icon Beetson won two titles with the Roosters in 1974 and 1975 and book-ended his career with stints at Redcliffe (1964-65 and 1981).

Brad Beetson, the son of Arthur, said he had been in talks with the Roosters about the potential blockbuster at Suncorp Stadium.

"As a family we'd love to see it. It would be massive. It was one of dad's dreams," Beetson told AAP.

Dolphins CEO Terry Reader said the club's intention was to make their first game at Suncorp Stadium one to remember.

"The draw is a very complex beast and we have been really up front with the NRL right from our pitch that we'd love to play our opening game here at Suncorp Stadium against the Roosters to honour Arthur Beetson," Reader said.

"He wrote in his (autobiography) that it was his dream before he died to see the Dolphins play the Roosters in the NRL and we can't wait to bring that to life for his family and honour him with that game."

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said he appreciated the inspirational Beetson storyline with the clubs.

He said head office was always thinking of ways in which they could optimise the draw for clubs and fans and meet the requests clubs submit.

"This is a request we are considering as part of that overall process," Abdo told AAP.

Beetson said he hoped the NRL would grant a request that made perfect sense.

"I know the Roosters are behind it.

"The Dolphins is where dad started his career and our family is Gubbi Gubbi, so that relationship just makes sense too.

"A massive number of players have represented the Roosters and Dolphins and that is basically because of the relationship dad had with (Dolphins chairman) Bob Jones."

As Reader spoke to reporters alongside Suncorp Stadium general manager Alan Graham to announce the historic stadium deal, the electronic billboards at the ground read 'Home of the Dolphins'.

It represented a seismic shift in professional rugby league in Brisbane with Suncorp Stadium set to host two NRL tenants for the first time since its reopening in 2003 after a two-year redevelopment.

"We think there is enough appetite in the rugby league community to support two clubs in Brisbane and we think the Dolphins are going to generate a lot of support here," Graham said.

Graham confirmed the stadium would be quarantined for the FIFA Women's World Cup in July and August next year where the playing surface would only be available to teams playing in the tournament.

That will pose a logistical challenge for the NRL with the draw, but playing into the Dolphins hands is that they will host three games next year at Moreton Daily Stadium in Redcliffe.