NRL's new team to be known as Dolphins

·3-min read

The NRL's newest side will drop all reference to Redcliffe or Brisbane from their name after last-minute talks left them known solely as the Dolphins.

Fresh off their elevation to becoming the NRL's 17th franchise after 33 years of planning, questions lingered over the club's name.

As recently as this week bid chief Terry Reader had confirmed the club would speak to their fans over a possible geographical name to go alongside their mascot.

Chairman Bob Jones also claimed on Wednesday what they put after the Dolphins moniker was still "open for discussion" and hadn't been decided yet.

But NRL CEO Andrew Abdo confirmed the new club would join the Warriors in not having a geographical label, in a bid to appeal to a larger area.

"It's the Dophins. That's what we decided together," Abdo said.

"That is part of the discussions we had with them very recently.

"It's important for us we have a say in this because this is about the growth of the game and we want an overall strategic lens to this."

It comes as part of the footprint the Dolphins will try and establish in their early seasons, as well as leaving the Broncos as the sole team with "Brisbane" as a name.

The NRL claim research shows there are 200,000 rugby league fans with no affiliation to a club in Queensland, while the ratio of teams to population is well down compared to NSW and Victoria.

Data also showed the northern corridor is expected to go from 800,000 to 1.1 million over the next decade.

The club will play seven home blockbusters at Suncorp Stadium as well as matches in Redcliffe, to the north-east of the city, and on the Sunshine Coast.

They will also attempt to build links with the Central Queensland Capras in the Queensland Cup, with a clear $2 million pathways system in the men's, women's and Indigenous space part of the bid.

"What we have seen in the research is people are receptive to a city rivalry," Abdo said.

"We will have an important rivalry with the Broncos, in terms of an inner-city rivalry.

"But now more importantly we have four QLD teams, that opens up 12 rivalry matches for us.

"It also sets up rivalries with the Cowboys and Titans. That's why I think the Dolphins as a name is more appropriate."

Abdo also insisted no current teams would lose out financially, with NRL grants expected to increase slightly from 2023.

Meanwhile the Dolphins' ability to bring a new major sponsor with no current NRL ties was also a factor in the decision, as well as a strong portfolio including their stadium, a shopping centre and fitness centre.

"We will be the only QRL team playing in the NRL," Reader said.

"We will be the only grassroots-driven team going all the way to the NRL. We are a genuine Brisbane team representing all of Queensland."

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