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NRL makes its biggest change to the game in 14 years by adding a 17th team in Brisbane Australia

NRL makes its biggest change to the game in 14 years by adding a 17th team in Brisbane setting up 12 more games a year and $20million more cash – but what does it mean for your club?

  • NRL set to announce its 17th franchise after reporting massive $50m surplus
  • Redcliffe Dolphins to be confirmed as new team – beating out Jets and Firehawks 
  • Competition set to announce new broadcast deals with Channel Nine and Foxtel


The NRL is set to make its biggest change in 14 years with a new club to be included within two years and the game makes a $50 million profit.

Rugby league powerbrokers will announce the Redcliffe Dolphins, in northern Brisbane, as the competition’s 17th franchise starting in 2023. 

Foxtel has promised an extra $20 million in TV rights for the inclusion of a second Brisbane team, with clubs demanding an equal share of the $50 million profit the NRL has turned over.

The NRL is set to make its biggest change in 14 years with a new club to be included within two years – as the game’s power and popularity soars with $50million surplus

Queensland Cup team the Redcliffe Dolphins are set to be the 17th franchise in the NRL after winning a bid to become Brisbane's second team

Queensland Cup team the Redcliffe Dolphins are set to be the 17th franchise in the NRL after winning a bid to become Brisbane’s second team

Redcliffe will beat out the Jets and Firehawks to be the newest expansion team, having been the frontrunners throughout the process given the club’s already high membership numbers, an established fanbase, and a purpose built stadium.

The NRL reported the $50 million surplus, a figure that would have been even greater if not for the $30 million in Covid payments handed out to keep the competition afloat.

An extra $15 million will be needed per year to fund another team, with Foxtel to offset that money by promising $20 million as a part of its broadcast deal, given the marketability of a second Brisbane team.

The NRL reported the $50million surplus, a figure that would have been even greater if not for the $30million in Covid payments handed out to keep the competition afloat (pictured: NRL CEO Peter V'ladys)

The NRL reported the $50million surplus, a figure that would have been even greater if not for the $30million in Covid payments handed out to keep the competition afloat (pictured: NRL CEO Peter V’ladys)

The Dolphins will be required to have a $10million bank guarantee every year for the next five years to ensure it remains in the NRL

The Dolphins will be required to have a $10million bank guarantee every year for the next five years to ensure it remains in the NRL

Redcliffe is just outside of Brisbane, but the team will play some or all of its games at Suncorp Stadium from the 2023 season onwards.

Their current ground, Moreton Daily Stadium, seats 11,500 fans, which will likely need to be increased to consistently field NRL games.

The Dolphins will be required to have a $10 million bank guarantee every year for the next five years to ensure it remains in the NRL.

It will not get any additional funds to help function in the competition.

The Dolphins' current ground, Moreton Daily Stadium, seats 11,500 fans which will likely need to be increased to consistently field NRL games

The Dolphins’ current ground, Moreton Daily Stadium, seats 11,500 fans which will likely need to be increased to consistently field NRL games

Redcliffe’s inclusion will add another 12 NRL games to the schedule each year, with every side to have two byes.

The NRL is also set to announce another new broadcast deal with Channel Nine, expected to be over five years.

More than $376 million was distributed across the clubs in 2021, but teams argue they deserve a bigger slice of the pie to help grow their brands and ensure future stability. 



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