Rugbu League

Why Dolphins want to play the Roosters, not Broncos, in 2023 opener

“We had detail around that in our submission [to the NRL],” Reader said.

“One thing a lot of people don’t know, Arthur Beetson was part of our first-ever premiership that the Redcliffe Dolphins won in the BRL [Brisbane Rugby League] comp.

“In 1965 he was a skinny centre and he went on to be one of the greatest, an Immortal of the game. He came back to captain-coach in 1981 after the 1980 Origin.

“He did write in his book that it was his dream before he died to see the Dolphins play the Roosters in the NRL.

“How wonderful now that we will be able to make that happen for him and especially for his family. That’s something we pitched, we had conversations during the bid process with the Roosters that we’d love to talk about how we do something with them, whether it be the Arthur Beetson Cup or something like that.

“His family is really excited by that. That is one thing the Dolphins will represent for the game, we have a great story to tell.

“Not to rain on the parade of playing the Broncos, let’s build up to that.

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“Everyone is going to be excited because we’re going to have a genuine derby here in Brisbane. We’ll have an old BRL side coming up against the biggest club in the NRL, it’s going to be a wonderful story and the narrative that can be written around it.

“You only have to look at what happens in every code, the derbies are the biggest games. We’d like to think we could have two sellouts there.”

The Dolphins are full of admiration for the Roosters on another level. Asked if there was a club that represented a model for the newbies to aspire to, Reader pointed to the Bondi Junction outfit.

“If you have the right structures and the right processes in place, people can succeed,” Reader said.

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“The Roosters are a wonderful example of that. They lost almost two-thirds of their starting squad this year, they had all of that salary cap sitting on the bench. Yet everyone they brought up, because of the structures and the coaching they have in place, came in and did the job.

“It was next man up and it was wonderful to watch. Anyone would be impressed by that and if you can emulate something like that, you’d be in a really good position.”

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