The Dolphins - set to join the NRL in 2023 - have announced pathways player Cody Hunter, who has been with the club's football operations since he was in under-7s football, will join on a train and trial contract for 2023.

While the Redcliffe-based operation have struggled overall on the recruitment front ahead of their inaugural season, they have made it a focus to secure the services of Queenslanders in their first-grade squad.

Their junior talent pool has seen the club pluck players out of the frustrated Penrith Panthers, including young gun half Isaiya Katoa, however, the club have announced Hunter has signed on today.

Coming through the club's junior pathways, the 20-year-old made his Hastings Deerings Colts debut in 2019, and has since gone on to represent the club at QLD Cup level this season, where he made his debut in Round 6 against the Townsville Blackhawks.

The Dolphins sit fourth in that competition and coach Wayne Bennett could yet look to recruit more talent from the club's feeder side.

Should Hunter debut in the second half of next year - when train and trialists and development players are allowed to take to the field without exception - Hunter would become the first player to progress through the Dolphins' pathways into the club's NRL side.

CEO Terry Reader said it was a wonderful story for the club.

“Cody is a wonderful story for the Dolphins and a true inspiration for what can be achieved through the club’s pathways,” said Dolphins’ NRL chief executive Terry Reader.

“The goal of the Dolphins has always been to play at the highest level of rugby league and to provide that opportunity to young players.

“Cody is a perfect example of just that and he could now become the first Dolphin to play right through the grades from under-sevens to the NRL.

“In the pre-season he will get to train alongside true representative players such Felise Kaufusi, the Bromwich brothers and newly-minted Origin player Tom Gilbert.

“We are excited for him and can’t wait to see how much he improves when he gets to train in a full-time NRL system come November.”