The New Zealand Warriors and Redcliffe Dolphins have today jointly announced a landmark Trans-Tasman rugby league partnership with far-reaching benefits for both organisations.
The trail-blazing relationship brings together New Zealand’s only professional rugby league franchise and the highly successful Brisbane powerhouse which has produced some of the biggest names to come out of Queensland including the legendary Arthur Beetson, Petero Civoniceva, Chris Close, John Ribot, former Vodafone Warrior Brent Tate and Daly Cherry-Evans.
Warriors CEO Cameron George and Redcliffe Leagues Club CEO Tony Murphy said the partnership was founded on a shared vision which would enable outstanding young players from Queensland and New Zealand to benefit from the best pathways structure available in the game.
“It’s time we revamped our club and in the Redcliffe Dolphins we have the perfect partners who share the same big dreams for the future as us,” George said.
“Redcliffe is a hugely successful club with a big talent pool and well-established senior and junior pathways.
“We have to improve as an organisation to achieve the expectations we have of ourselves. We need to be different and do things differently to secure the future we see for our great club.”
Murphy said the Dolphins had identical ambitions.
“The Warriors-Dolphins partnership is a fantastic fit for our club moving forward post COVID-19,” Murphy said.
“All clubs need to look at their current structure into the future and we have found a perfect solution for both clubs.
“The mutual benefits between both our footy clubs will be enormous. Our aim is to help the Warriors win that elusive NRL premiership and establish an Aussie base here at Dolphin Stadium.
“Outside of footy the benefits to both our regions with tourism and business is something our council is very excited about.”
Dolphins general manager of football operations Grant Cleal said the opportunity was far-reaching for both clubs.
“The Dolphins are joining forces with a very professional organisation that cares about the game,” Cleal said.
“That has been more than evident during the Warriors’ relocation to Australia during the successful reboot of the 2020 NRL season.
“Purely on the football side of things, the partnership will assist the premiership aspirations of both clubs while fostering the growth of junior rugby league in the entire Moreton Bay region.”
George said the Warriors had changed their structure by joining the Intrust Super Cup after withdrawing from the New South Wales Rugby League’s Canterbury Cup competition.
Through this initiative a number of players from outside the Warriors’ NRL squad will appear for the Dolphins in the Intrust Super Cup each week.
There will also be potential for the Warriors to play games at Redcliffe’s Dolphin Stadium.
George and Murphy said their clubs would align their pathway programs to capture talent to achieve long-term on-field success, while staff from both clubs would work closely together to create better opportunities for personal development.
Redcliffe has won a record six Queensland premierships since the competition started in 1996, while being runner-up six times and winning the minor premiership six times.
The club is situated in the Moreton Bay region, the third biggest local government area in Australia.