Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The National Rugby League will confirm which club has got the nod to join the competition as its 17th team in either 2023 or 2024, with Cameron Munster and Wayne Bennett heavily linked with the franchise that has their bid approved.
Munster has publicly stated in the past that he would find passing up an offer from said expansion side hard to do, but in a recent interview with the Courier Mail’s Peter Badel, the Melbourne Storm player has divulged further information on Bennett’s intentions concerning the new club.
“I know Wayne would be very keen to coach a second Brisbane team,” Munster told Badel.
“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.
“The Storm is 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 club coming along, it will be a tough conversation to have.”
Queensland’s State of Origin five-eighth is contracted to the Storm until the end of the 2023 NRL season, which could be perfect timing if the new franchisee joins the competition in 2024.
Everything we know about the three expansion bids to become NRL’s 17th team 🧐💰❓
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Bennett’s immediate future on the other hand is unknown, with the veteran coach set to leave the South Sydney Rabbitohs at the end of this season.
If Bennett is eyeing off the role of head coach at this new side then he may sit out the 2022 and possibly 2023 NRL seasons or sign a one-year deal at his next club.
The two teams with their coaches reportedly in the hot seat at the moment are the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers, with Brad Arthur and Michael Maguire possibly on the chopping block, with Bennett surely the priority target for both Western Sydney clubs if they part ways with their current head coaches.
When looking at who the NRL’s 17th club will be, the three bids being considered are those from the Brisbane Jets, Brisbane Firehawks and Redcliffe Dolphins, who are believed to have trademarked the name “Brisbane Dolphins.”