NRL Dolphins confirm four departures, including Super League-bound duo

Josh McAllister
Herman Ese'ese, Dolphins Alamy

Dolphins have confirmed four departures upon the completion of their inaugural NRL season under Wayne Bennett.

Former Queensland representative Brenko Lee has already confirmed that he will continue his career in Super League for the 2024 campaign.

The centre’s agent, Chris Orr, had revealed conversations with both Catalans Dragons and Leeds Rhinos for next season.

However, Rohan Smith has since shut down any moves for the 2020 NRL Grand Final winner, despite the unknown future of Papua New Guinea international Nene Macdonald.

“I have been made aware he is available, but we have had no discussions about Brenko joining the club and that won’t be happening,” Smith previously said.

It suggests a move to Steve McNamara’s Dragons next year, with the Perpignan-based side set to lose Sam Tomkins (retirement), Mitchell Pearce (retirement), Adam Keighran (Wigan), Tiaki Chan (Wigan), Mickael Goudemand (Leeds), Tyrone May (Hull KR), Matt Whitley and Sio Siua Taukeiaho.

Meanwhile, New Zealand and Samoa international prop Herman Ese’ese has secured his future with a three-year deal with Hull FC in Super League.

The 29-year-old joined Dolphins ahead of the 2023 campaign from Gold Coast Titans, with a total of 129 appearances in the competition Down Under. He has also played for Newcastle Knights, Brisbane Broncos and Canterbury Bulldogs.

He featured 20 times for the Dolphins.

Off-contract duo Poasa Faamausili and JJ Collins have also had their exits confirmed by the club.

Collins, 27, made just three appearances under former Great Britain boss Bennett in 2023, with a tally of 19 games in the NRL. He made his debut with Wests Tigers in 2016, before representing Newcastle and Canberra Raiders.

The prop predominately featured in the Queensland Cup this year with 16 appearances for Central Queensland Capras.

Fellow forward Faamausili, 27, has also been released and is expected to join Canterbury Bulldogs next season as part of Phil Gould’s rebuild, via Fox Sports.

He has 43 NRL appearances under his belt to date with Sydney Roosters, New Zealand Warriors and St George Illawarra Dragons.

Oliver Gildart also made the mid-season return home to England with Leigh Leopards, with the international centre set to join Hull KR from 2024.

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