Wayne Bennett and the Dolphins' fondness for signing forwards appears to have flared again following reports that the expansion franchise is readying themselves to table out-of-contract Eel Ryan Matterson a rich deal.
While the likes of Felise Kaufusi, Mark Nicholls, Tom Gilbert, Ray Stone and the Bromwich brothers are already on the books of the Redcliffe-based franchise, Bennett's chase for Matterson only seeks to prove that there is still mettle to be added to his pack.
According to reports from News Corp, Matterson flew north to meet with Bennett at Dolphins HQ on Tuesday, checking out the club's digs in Moreton Bay.
Though the Origin hopeful will still be offered a deal to remain at CommBank Stadium beyond the cessation of the season, it appears near-certain that the Dolphins' offer will blow the Eels out of the water.
Currently earning within the vicinity of $550,000 per season in gold and blue, should the Greenacre product ink on with Bennett and company, this figure is set to fall to around $500,000 per annum for the next three seasons.
Speaking in the wake of his covert meeting with the 27-year-old, Bennett stressed that he and his side were interested in bolstering their line.
“Yes, we’ve had a meeting, so we’ll see what happens,” Bennett said.
“We’re very interested in Ryan. He came up here, we’ve had some talks and now we’ll wait and see what happens.”
Given Matterson already holds a working relationship with the Dolphins' recruitment manager, Peter O'Sullivan, after the pair spent time together at the Chooks, Bennett can probably afford himself a rare smile of confidence.
Add in a further familiar link, as well as an impressive pitch, and Parramatta's task of retaining Matterson appears set to be stiff in the eyes of his manager, Chirs Orr.
“Wayne coached Ryan’s uncle Terry Matterson at the Broncos so Ryan has always had great respect for Wayne,” Orr said.
“Ryan has a few things to consider. He is currently in a very professional club at the Eels playing alongside some handy players under a very good coach in Brad Arthur.
“Ryan wanted to meet those involved at Dolphins to better understand the club and to talk football with Wayne as part of his decision-making process.
“We’re waiting on an offer from the Eels before Ryan makes a final call.”