SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 22: Keenan Palasia of the Broncos celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the round 11 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Brisbane Broncos at Sydney Cricket Ground, on May 22, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

While NRL CEO Andrew Abdo is adamant on beginning the 2023 season with a new Brisbane derby between The Dolphins and Brisbane Broncos, the Redcliffe-based franchise have other ideas.

The NRL's 17th side have instead suggested making their NRL debut against the Sydney Roosters. This is mainly due to the fact that both clubs have had the legendary Arthur Beetson play for their sides.

The Dolphins are using this fixture as a way to honour the seventh immortal of the game as the contest will be known as the Arthur Beetson Cup.

The Dolphins administration had no problem consulting the NRL with the links Beetson had between both clubs and the shared desire they would have in contesting for a trophy in his honour.

Chairman of the Roosters Nick Politis backed the proposal when speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald.

“For sure, we’d love to look at that,” Politis said.

“It’s early days, but we’re open to any good ideas. Why not? It’s good for everybody, it’s good for the game.”

Dolphins chief executive and the man behind Redcliffe's bid Terry Reader said the club had also spoken with Beetson's family about future initiatives.

“We had detail around that in our submission [to the NRL],” Reader said.

“One thing a lot of people don’t know, Arthur Beetson was part of our first-ever premiership that the Redcliffe Dolphins won in the BRL [Brisbane Rugby League] comp.

“In 1965 he was a skinny centre and he went on to be one of the greatest, an Immortal of the game. He came back to captain-coach in 1981 after the 1980 Origin.

“He did write in his book that it was his dream before he died to see the Dolphins play the Roosters in the NRL.

“How wonderful now that we will be able to make that happen for him and especially for his family. That’s something we pitched, we had conversations during the bid process with the Roosters that we’d love to talk about how we do something with them, whether it be the Arthur Beetson Cup or something like that.

“His family is really excited by that. That is one thing the Dolphins will represent for the game, we have a great story to tell.

“Not to rain on the parade of playing the Broncos, let’s build up to that.

“Everyone is going to be excited because we’re going to have a genuine derby here in Brisbane. We’ll have an old BRL side coming up against the biggest club in the NRL, it’s going to be a wonderful story and the narrative that can be written around it.

“You only have to look at what happens in every code, the derbies are the biggest games. We’d like to think we could have two sellouts there.”

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