BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 27: Wayne Bennett poses for a photo with the revealing of the Dolphins Heritage Round jersey during a Dolphins NRL press conference at Suncorp Stadium on October 27, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The Dolphins inability to recruit players in key positions out of the NRL is reportedly forcing them to look in a very new direction.

The latest target on inaugural coach Wayne Bennett's radar is set to be former NRL star Blake Austin.

The Dolphins have chased plenty of targets since their November 1 opening to negotiations, but have so far only managed to sign Melbourne Storm second-rower Felise Kaufusi, Parramatta Eels workhorse Ray Stone, Brisbane Broncos outside back Jamayne Isaako and little-known rugby union talent Valynce Te Whare, as well as a pair of development players.

Wide World of Sports are reporting that the Dolphins will now go after Austin as an experienced player to run their halves.

Halves are one position the Dolphins haven't been heavily linked to thus far, although they were rumoured to be interested in Cody Walker before he re-signed with the South Sydney Rabbitohs for the 2023 season.

Austin has now turned 30, but is a player who Wayne Bennett could get the best out of.

A former Penrith Panther, Wests Tiger and Canberra Raider, Austin played his best football in the NRL during his time in lime green before switching to the English Super League.

He has since become a mainstay at the Warrington Wolves, playing 57 games and scoring 29 tries during his three seasons with the club. The former Great Britain representative will join the Leeds Rhinos in 2022 on a one-year deal, meaning he is free to negotiate a new deal - and potential return to the NRL - in 2023.

Bennett has past history with Austin as coach of Great Britain when the 30-year-old half was selected for the nation.


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