The Dolphins have secured three young talents to their roster for their entry to the 2023 NRL competition.
Head coach Wayne Bennett has always contended that providing a balanced roster for the team to draw on in their opening season was the key.
The three young additions to the squad – Michael Roberts, Harrison Graham and Valynce Te Whare - are examples of the Dolphins already building for the future.
Roberts has already shown his elite ability at schoolboy level and is the younger brother of NRL try machine James Roberts and nephew of former Roosters’ NRL player Amos Roberts.
The teenage five-eighth or outside back scored the match-winning try of the 2021 southern Queensland final of the NRL Schoolboys Cup for famed rugby league nursery Palm Beach-Currumbin High.
The 80-metre individual effort broke an 18-18 deadlock with Marsden High with just three minutes remaining, and catapulted PBC onto the state championship.
Crafty hooker Graham has already represented Queensland at under 18 level and spearheaded the Wynnum Seagulls to the Queensland Rugby League’s Hastings Deerings Colts under 21 premiership this year. Graham also scored in his senior debut for Wynnum Manly in the Intrust Super Cup.
'It's so much fun being in the grand final' - Harrison Graham
Both Roberts and Graham will be on development contracts with the Dolphins when pre-season training begins in November next year.
Rugby union try-scoring machine Te Whare will join the Dolphins’ senior squad after being signed to a contract.
The strongly-built outside back has shown his wares with Waikato since making his debut in 2019 in New Zealand’s provincial rugby union championship.
Dolphins’ chief executive Terry Reader said the franchise had always had a long-term vision for their roster development.
“Since the Dolphins’ recruitment team first came together to discuss players, we have always been of the view that squad members 21 to 30 are just as important as players one to 10,” Reader said.
“These three young players have been recruited from different backgrounds and different competitions - this underlines that we are doing extensive recruitment to build a balanced and talented roster for our entry to the 2023 NRL competition.
“It also adds to the work we are already doing with junior development to ensure the future of the Dolphins, including a junior Dolphins NRL academy camp we held this week.
“That group of young players will always hold a place in history as attendees at the first ever Junior Dolphins’ NRL training camp.”