NRL expands to 17 teams for 2023

Redcliffe Dolphins logo

The NRL has announced it will add a 17th team from 2023, with a second Brisbane side admitted to the competition.

The NRL said on Wednesday the north Brisbane-based Redcliffe Dolphins had beaten two other expansion candidates to become the fourth side from the state of Queensland in the competition.

The Dolphins were selected over bids from the Brisbane Firehawks – a proposed new venture backed by the city’s Easts Tigers club – and the Brisbane Jets, a mooted outfit springing from the long-established Ipswich Jets from the Queensland capital’s western fringe.

Redcliffe, established as a club in the city’s competition in 1947, will join the Brisbane Broncos, the North Queensland Cowboys and the Gold Coast Titans as NRL sides from the northern state.

ARLC boss delighted to welcome Redcliffe Dolphins to NRL

ARLC chairman Peter V’landys said: “Today is an exciting moment in the history of our game. The NRL Telstra Premiership will expand to 17 teams in 2023 and on behalf of the Commission I would like to congratulate the Dolphins on being granted the 17th licence.

“I would also like to acknowledge and thank the other bid teams for the work they put into their submissions. All 3 bids were of the highest calibre and highlight the strength of rugby league in Queensland.

“Rugby League is part of Queensland’s DNA and to have 4 teams based in Queensland will further strengthen our game as the No.1 sport in the State.

“The key to long term success is growth. By growing the NRL Telstra Premiership we create more fans, encourage more participants and increase commercial investment in rugby league.

“Expansion is also a really important part of our participation strategy. It will be a condition of the licence that the Dolphins spend $2million every year on participation and growing the women’s game in Southeast Queensland. Our focus over the next year is revitalising our participation strategy and the Dolphins will be an important part of that in Queensland.”

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