Coaching mastermind Wayne Bennett has claimed that he is "99 per cent sure" he will become the head coach of the competition expanding Dolphins ahead of the 2023 NRL season.
In a report from Marc Churches of Wide World of Sport, it was revealed that the 71-year-old is set to put pen to paper on a three-year contract with the expansion club that is said to net him the tidy sum of $2 million in the process.
While the former Raiders, Broncos, Dragons, Knights, and Rabbitohs steward has not yet signed on the dotted line, a decision to do so appears imminent after Bennett was snapped meeting with Dolphins officials in Redcliffe on Friday.
— Adam Jackson (@AdamJackson_9) October 15, 2021
Speaking after his exit from the Dolphins Leagues Club, Bennett revealed that the dialogue between both parties had been productive.
"Long, good meeting. Really pleased with it," he told a throng of reporters.
"We haven't finalised anything yet, it's heading in the right direction.
"There's a couple of things we have to sort out, but there's nothing major.
"I'm 99 per cent sure we will get it all worked out."
Having presided over seven competition wins in his 35 seasons as an NRL coach, Bennett has proven time and again that he has what it takes to build rosters and turn them into champions.
Still, when the Queenslander does eventually head up the state's fourth franchise, he is unlikely to recommence working with Cody Walker or Latrell Mitchell after it was revealed on Friday that the outgoing coach had agreed not to poach any of Souths' stars.
While the pair of Blues representatives are set to remain under lock and key at Redfern, Bennett has stated that another name familiar with the Origin arena could well become the Dolphins' inaugural marquee signing.
Although recently embattled Storm playmaker Cameron Munster is currently contracted in the Victorian capital, Bennett told The Daily Telegraph that the Rockhampton product was on his shopping list.
“If Cameron is available or keen to come home, I will certainly look at him,” he said.
“Everyone will be hard to get out of the 16 clubs, there is no doubt about that, but Cameron is someone I have great admiration for."
Having officially claimed the NRL's highly sought-after 17th license earlier this week, the geographically unaligned Dolphins will now start the process of poaching talent from across the competition ahead of 2023.
And in the eyes of the man that will construct the list of names to wear red and white, a 'home grown' look is said to be the modus operandi.
“We have a 12-month runway (to build a roster), but I need to get myself sorted with Redcliffe first before I get too far in front of myself and worry about what players we have or won’t have for 2023.”