The Dolphins have missed out on a number of potential marquee signings in recent weeks, and it's now been suggested that they may turn to New Zealand rugby in their search of a genuine game-breaker.
The Hamilton-based Chiefs team have confirmed a number of year-end departures already, and there's a belief there may be more to come with rumours that an Australian NRL side is preparing to make an offer for 25-year-old outside back and excitement machine Shaun Stevenson.
Talking to SENZ Afternoons, WWOS' The Mole, suggested the 25-year-old was firmly in the Dolphins' sights.
“The dilemma for the new NRL franchise (the Dolphins), is that they just haven't been able to land marquee players,” the Mole said.
“They've signed about 20 players and most of them are average first-graders.
“They're looking for guys who can break a game open and (Stevenson) seems to fit the bill.
“A lot will depend on whether he makes this All Blacks squad.”
Stevenson is still in contention for the next All Blacks XV to be named this week for upcoming games against the Barbarians and Irish Wolfhounds.
Should he fail to make the squad, the Dolphins will likely be an attractive prospect for Stevenson. Though he has played nearly 70 games for the Chiefs since 2016, he has regularly struggled to hold down a position in the outside backs due to a lack of consistency.
He is currently contracted to the club until the end of 2023.
Desperate is as desperate does. Originally Bennett and his cronies spruiked that they wouldn’t raid local NRL clubs. Well that lasted exactly how long? As long as a whole plethora of rejections from marquee players. Now we see the Broncos young gun Karl Oloapu (contracted until 2024) being monetarily enticed to break his agreement and the Titans future star Keano Kini (also similarly contracted) getting the same treatment. Not surprising from someone who has only ever put his own best interests first.
Titanic tell me please, how do you think that the Dolphins should recruit a squad – bearing in mind that all the decent juniors will have been signed up to development contracts by existing NRL clubs, and “marquee” players have decided that there is not much chance of even making the finals with the Dolphins, in their first few years.
Looking to the UK and looking to Rugby Union seem to be sensible courses of action.
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