Dolphins want 2023 marquee...and Munster

·2-min read

Dolphins CEO Terry Reader has confirmed the new NRL club will have enough funds to sign a marquee player for next season, and afford Melbourne superstar Cameron Munster from 2024.

The Dolphins are yet to sign someone in the playmaking positions who could truly be called marquee just two months out from the expansion club's inaugural pre-season.

Five-eighth Munster, signed to Melbourne until the end of 2023, is the Dolphins' prime target for 2024 but the Storm have reiterated they will not let him leave one year early.

Reader said that did not mean the Dolphins would have to wait 12 months to get a marquee player.

He conceded there were "not many" players available of Munster's calibre for 2023 but with a fluid NRL player market the situation can change in an instant. Either way, the Dolphins will be ready to swoop.

"We certainly do have the salary cap space to fit a marquee player in for 2023 and we will be doing that if the right one becomes available and is going to be beneficial to our club," Reader said.

The Storm are trying to extend Munster's deal and he is set to attract offers from other clubs. Dolphin coach Wayne Bennett has made it clear he is the franchise's first choice target.

"Wayne would like Cameron here and the club is no different. That's got a bit of time to play out but he is somebody we want to be part of our team," Reader said.

"When you have got one of the best players in the game coming off contract clubs are going to be interested and we are no different."

Reader confirmed the Dolphins had signed 26 players for next year, including a full complement of development-list players.

"We still have, in our top 30, probably 10 spots to fill," he said.

"As soon as the season finishes that market changes into another gear and there will be plenty of stuff that will happen.

"It is a fluid player market and there is a lot going on in the background. We still have signings to come before our pre-season begins and even before we run out in March next year."

The Dolphins have secured Penrith playmaker Sean O'Sullivan, Newcastle five-eighth Anthony Milford and Canterbury hooker Jeremy Marshall-King for next year in playmaking positions.

The forward list is more impressive and includes Melbourne brothers Kenny and Jesse Bromwich, Storm back-rower Felise Kaufusi and North Queensland firebrand Tom Gilbert.