NRL Rd 10 - Sharks v Dolphins
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 06: Valynce Te Whare of the Dolphins celebrates with his team mates after scoring a try during the round 10 NRL match between Cronulla Sharks and Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium on May 06, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The Dolphins have confirmed QLD Cup outfit the Norths Devils will join their list of affiliate clubs for the 2024 season.

In what is a four-year deal, the Dolphins will have three clubs to send affiliate players to, with the Devils joining Redcliffe's own Dolphins, and the Central Queensland Capras, who are in the midst of their best QLD Cup patch since inception.

The Devils, who at one stage were linked with the Melbourne Storm, have been with the Brisbane Broncos in recent times, who are also linked with the Souths Logan Magpies and Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

That will leave the Broncos with only two affiliates, although the Ipswich Jets and Western Clydesdales, as well as the Papua New Guinea Hunters, do not have a direct link with any NRL club to provide players.

The Dolphins, who will now share their non-playing first-grade contracted players between the Capras, Dolphins and Devils, have also billed the move as one that will open new grassroots pathways for the female game.

In an official statement, the Dolphins have confirmed that a direct pathway for female players to progress through the Dolphins catchment area into a future NRLW team will be set up through the Devils, while a new Dolphins NRLW academy will also be established.

They have also confirmed that a full-time game development officer will be based in Nundah at the Devils' home ground - Bishop Park - with the aim to build the game in the area through grass roots programs.

Players at the Devils will also be given chances to train with the Dolphins during the NRL pre-season.

“The Devils are a traditional club that have been playing in the Brisbane Rugby League club since its foundation year in 1933 and actually voted for the Dolphins to join the BRL back in 1960,” Dolphins' CEO Terry Reader said.

“To have them join us an affiliate is going to be a great thing for our club and the game in the North Brisbane area.

“It will allow the Dolphins to help build the game through junior clubs at grassroots level, and also give local players greater connection to our elite NRL and NRLW Dolphins Academy, where we are developing the NRL and NRLW players of the future.

“We already have a number of Norths junior players in our Academy program and this is a big step for the Dolphins to provide greater links between our club and the local community.”

The Dolphins are back-to-back QLD Cup premiers, and chairman Michael Crutcher said the deal came at an important time for grassroots rugby league in Brisbane.

“We have valued our previous long-term affiliations with the Melbourne Storm (10 years) and the Brisbane Broncos (16 years) for the benefits they have brought to all parties and now is the right time for the Devils to begin a new partnership,” Crutcher said.

“This is an important time for grassroots rugby league in Brisbane. We are delighted to begin this partnership with the Dolphins with our shared commitment to developing the strongest foundations for the game on the northside.

“We value the combined history of our clubs. We have been rivals for more than 60 years but we have always shared the belief that the rivalry has made each club stronger.

“Our fans know that we will always be rivals in the Hostplus Cup – the huge crowd at last year's grand final between Norths and Redcliffe proved that – but this partnership is about a shared vision for rugby league on the northside of Brisbane.”

The affiliation begins on November 1.