The Dolphins are reportedly set to launch a major poaching bid for North Queensland Cowboys' young gun Kulikefu Finefeuiaki.

The young second-rower will be off-contract at the end of the 2024 NRL season and has been a breakout star for the Townsville-based outfit over the last 12 months.

So strong has he been that the Cowboys recently released Luciano Leilua to the St George Illawarra Dragons, clearing room in their second-row, which also features Queensland State of Origin star Jeremiah Nanai and Heilum Luki.

Luki is also off-contract but set to re-sign on a big-money deal in the coming days, while the Dragons had been set to chase Finefeuiaki before their interest cooled on the back of signing Leilua.

The Canberra Raiders were also rumoured to be interested and have chased numerous second-rowers in recent times, including Leilua.

Still, their interest may also have cooled after they landed the immediate signing of Zac Hosking, who was one of the best on the ground in his club debut against the Newcastle Knights on Thursday evening.

The issue for Finefeuiaki, if he elects to stay in Townsville, is that he will likely be limited to a bench role behind Nanai and Luki.

News Corp is reporting that the Dolphins' big-money bid for Finefeuiaki promises a starting role immediately and a move closer to where he grew up, which could well appeal to the second-rower.

The 20-year-old is believed to be ready to consider offers, although he is not sold on leaving Townsville yet.

Previous reports suggested he had begun negotiations with the Cowboys.

The 13-NRL game player's next contract decision could well have a domino impact across the competition, with talk that the Cowboys would chase Jack Howarth for an immediate release if they lose Finefeuiaki, which could then see the Storm chase Stefano Utoikamanu from the Wests Tigers, according to the report.