Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The NRL’s newest franchise the Dolphins have been quite busy in the transfer market already despite still having over a year to go before they take part in their inaugural season.
Melbourne’s Felise Kaufusi was recently confirmed to be the club’s first representative signing, with the 29-year-old having played for the Queensland State of Origin side and Australia on many occasions.
Wayne Bennett’s side has also announced the signing of two hookers in Ray Stone from the Parramatta Eels and Wynnum Manly Seagulls prodigy Harrison Graham.
Before signing Stone the Dolphins missed out on both Brandon Smith and Reed Mahoney’s signatures.
Even though they have a first-grade tenured nine on the books the club is now targeting another hooker, as The Daily Telegraph’s Phil “Buzz” Rothfield is reporting that the Dolphins are looking to sign Sam Verrills from the Sydney Roosters.
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— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) December 13, 2021
“The Dolphins were disappointed to miss out on Bulldogs-bound Reed Mahoney and have been mentioned as a possible home for Harry Grant in 2024,” said Rothfield.
“However, their No.1 target to play hooker in 2023 is Roosters star Sam Verrills.”
Verrills is contracted to the Roosters until the end of the 2024 NRL season, but will likely be granted an early release by the club as they welcome New Zealand International hooker Brandon Smith in 2023.
It was believed that the Eels were all in on Verrills after Reed Mahoney signed with the Bulldogs, but have since gone on to sign England International hooker Josh Hodgson from the Raiders.
The Roosters would also be willing to let Verrills go due to an injury-plagued past 24 months, but the 22-year-old still has a long career ahead of him where he could very well prove a long-term key component to The Dolphins first decade in the NRL.
Verrills would be joining the club after spending time at arguably the best-run club in the NRL and with at least one premiership to his name after winning the 2019 NRL Grand Final with the Roosters, a game in which he scored the opening try.
An important part of any successful side is to have a strong spine, and signing Sam Verrills would be a good place to start for the Dolphins.