Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Photo by Getty Images
The introduction of the NRL’s 17th franchise the Dolphins has brought with it two moves that are seemingly certain to happen, with the first being that Wayne Bennett would be the club’s inaugural head coach which is now all but confirmed.
The second move may not be guaranteed as we first thought though, as many believed Cameron Munster would be the Dolphins marquee player signing in 2023; however, the Queensland State of Origin representative is contracted to the Storm until the end of 2023 and coach Craig Bellamy has stated that none of his players under contract will be leaving early to join Brisbane’s second team when speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“If they want someone still on contract, they will not be leaving unless we get something for them,” said Bellamy.
“I’m not even sure what they can give us because they don’t have any players.
“We’re not just going to give a player away who fits into our system, and everyone at the Storm is on board with that opinion.
“They [the Dolphins] will have a lot of money.
“If players are tempted by money, they will be a good chance of getting them, but there are other things besides money for some people.”
Munster himself has been vocal in the past about wanting to join Queensland’s newest club, stating that it would be a tough decision to make when speaking to News Corp in August.
“For sure I will consider it,” Munster said.
“I know Wayne would be very keen to coach a second Brisbane team. He told me in Origin camp (last November) he is keen on a second Brisbane team, so it would be a very competitive side if Wayne was in charge.
“It’s a big decision for me.
“The Storm are a great club and they gave me my first opportunity to play NRL.
“I am a pretty loyal bloke and I will definitely give them an opportunity to keep me, but with the new Brisbane team coming along, it will be a tough conversation to have.”
Craig Bellamy is known for sticking to his word and not backing down from a stance, so it now seems very possible that Bennett and the Dolphins will have to look elsewhere for a marquee signing or wait until Munster is off contract and bring him to the club in 2024.