Redcliffe Dolphins set to be named NRL’s newest club

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Redcliffe have won the NRL’s expansion race, with the Dolphins poised to be unveiled as the competition’s 17th club this week.

The favourites to win the NRL’s newest licence, a meeting of the competition’s expansion assessment committee (EAC) last Friday has seemingly rubber-stamped Redcliffe’s position as the preferred bid.

News Corp reported on Monday the EAC had held further discussions with the Dolphins following last week’s meeting.

It’s expected the ARL Commission will announce the winning bid later this week, possibly as soon as Wednesday.

Rival bids, the Brisbane Firehawks and the Brisbane Jets, say they have been given no official indication of the EAC’s recommendation.

Firehawks bid chief Shane Richardson said he’d received “none whatsoever” when asked by AAP if there’d been an indication of a preferred bidder.

Jets chief executive Nick Livermore refused to speculate, saying the bid hasn’t had any communication with the EAC apart from an email in August and an initial meeting that month in which all three bids pitched directly to the commission.

The Dolphins have been the lead candidate since the ARLC confirmed in September it would push ahead with expansion.

Earlier this month, existing club chiefs were told of the plans for a 17th team to be added to the NRL in 2023.

It’s the first expansion of the competition since the addition of the Gold Coast Titans in 2007.

AAP has sought comment from the Dolphins and the NRL.


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