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Redcliffe-based Dolphins set to join expanded NRL in 2023

October 13, 2021 GMT

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — The NRL is set for expansion in 2023 after the Australian Rugby League Commission approved a license for a 17th team.

The Redcliffe-based Dolphins from Brisbane’s northeastern bayside fringe beat two other expansion candidates to become the fourth club from Queensland state in the National Rugby League competition.

The six-time champion Brisbane Broncos were the first Queensland club to enter the NRL in 1988, and have been followed by the North Queensland Cowboys and Gold Coast Titans.

A new competition format will mean each team plays 24 games and has two byes in the regular season.

“The key to long term success is growth,” ARLC chairman Peter V’landys said Wednesday. “By growing ... we create more fans, encourage more participants and increase commercial investment in rugby league.”

The NRL features teams in three Australian states plus the national capital of Canberra as well as the New Zealand-based Warriors.

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The 2021 season ended on Oct. 3 when Penrith edged the South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-12 in the grand final at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

The Redcliffe club was established in 1947 and has fielded teams in the Brisbane first-grade premiership and the Queensland Cup.

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