The next crop of Dolphins are set to step for the first of the club’s trial matches as the side prepares to meet with affiliate club, the Central Queensland Capras this weekend.
Others who featured for the club last season and are looking to push their way into the NRL squad like Tesi Niu, Jack Bostock, Kurt Donoghue, Mason Teague and Valynce Te Whare have also been named to add experience to the group.
Young forward Oryn Keeley, who moved up from the Newcastle Knights after signing a three-year deal with the Dolphins last year has been named in the backrow. Although he has played two NRL games in the past, Keeley knows it would be hard to break into the regular side that is well-stocked in the position, but said he would continue to prepare well and was looking forward to the opportunity to wear his new colours.
“It's been a tough pre-season, so it's good to get out there this weekend,” Keeley said.
“Obviously I played a game when I was 19 and then only got to play another one last year, but preparing myself day-in, day-out to train when you're very, very tired; I learnt pretty quick it doesn't matter how you feel, you've got to perform.
“This pre-season has been a lot better for myself and I'm only going to get better going forward.
“You have to be ready to be picked, that's my goal.
“I have written down a couple of notes and one of them was just be prepared to be told you're going to play and that could be anywhere.
“It could be like in Round 20 it could be Round 8, Round 2, but I have just got to be ready to play whenever and put my best foot forward.”
Kicking off at the Hostplus Cup club’s home ground in Rockhampton on Saturday night, the match will also give the club’s train and trial players from their feeder teams the Capras, Redcliffe Dolphins and Norths Devils the chance to put what they have been learning in the pre-season into use.
Judah Rimbu, who has been training with the Dolphins top squad as part of the PNG Hunters association with the club, is set to come off the bench.
Gerome Burns, who moved from the Ipswich Jets where he won their player of the year award last year to the Devils during the pre-season, has been named at halfback and is another player making the most of his opportunity to be part of an NRL system.
“The big thing was to do a train and trial with the Dolphins; do a pre-season and test myself,” Burns said.
“I get to do the 12 weeks of training and play in the first trial, so that's pretty cool.
“It's very exciting; doing a pre-season with an NRL club is something I have wanted to do for a long time and now I get the opportunity to do it and I am just excited and want to rip in.”
Dolphins v Capras trial game team list
Browne Park, Rockhampton
Saturday, February 10
- Trai Fuller
- Brenton Baira
- Tesi Niu
- Valynce Te Whare
- Jack Bostock
- Kurt Donoghoe
- Gerome Burns
- Max Bailey
- Trey Brown
- Cooper Jenkins
- Jeremiah Simbiken
- Oryn Keeley
- Mason Teague
- Aaron Moore
- Lachlan Hubner
- Judah Rimbu
- Max Plath
- Brent Woolf
- Jaron Purcell
- Caleb Jackson
- Steven Numambo
- Aublix Tawha
- Manase Kaho
Coach: Nathan Fien