Panthers legend Scott Sattler has lashed Dolphins' coach Wayne Bennett for the club's lack of marquee signings following a winless pre-season challenge.

In the past year, the club has failed to snag the signatures of off-contract stars such as Kalyn Ponga, Cameron Munster, Reece Walsh, Harry Grant and Dylan Brown.

Dolphins Training Session
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 24: Coach Wayne Bennett talks to his players during a Dolphins NRL training session at Kayo Stadium on January 24, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

"There were some real marquee players on the market that they could have tried to entice," Sattler said on SEN Radio.

"They didn't take a recruitment mindset going into getting the 17th (NRL) licence, they just spoke about how much money they had. Harry Grant

"But your first couple of years have got to be really important about future signings and bringing those marquee players to your club, so how you're seen from the outside from the first day is really important."

The lack of star talent was evident in last Sunday's trial game against the Titans where a full-strength Dolphins squad was thrashed 40 - 16 before home fans at Kayo Stadium.

"I've got to say, the Dolphins' recruitment has been some of the poorest recruitment I've seen in rugby league," Sattler continued.

"I mean, they've got great experienced forwards that are going to keep them in the battle defensively but where their points are going to come from, I don't know."

While Bennett has assembled a formidable (if aging) forward pack, the club's lack of a high-class spine has many wondering if they can be competitive in their inaugural year.

Sean O'Sullivan and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow lack consistent exposure to the top grade in their positions; while five-eighth Anthony Milford is eight seasons removed from his best football.

Hooker Jeremy Marshall-King can boast of being a part of New Zealand's World Cup campaign last year but he is also far from a signature player.

For comparison when the Titans debuted in 2007, they did so with a spine containing premiership winners such as Preston Campbell and Scott Prince, as well as recruiting Matt Rogers back from Rugby Union.

The Dolphins face a monumental hurdle in Round 1 when they face a star-studded Roosters lineup at Suncorp Stadium.