A double whammy in recruiting a week ahead of the club’s first game has lit the fuse between the Brisbane Broncos and new cross-town NRL competitors the Dolphins.
Tom Flegler will join Broncos teammate Herbie Farnworth at Redcliffe next year after Tully Prop’s four-year deal with the Dolphins from 2024 was confirmed on Sunday.
The signing of the State of Origin striker comes despite interest from Sydney clubs, and just two days after the signing of much sought-after center Farnworth was announced by the Dolphins.
Flegler, 23, has made 74 NRL appearances since debuting in 2019, as well as a lone Origin in 2021, despite constant suspensions due to his aggressive style of play.
The Dolphins’ shot ahead of the Broncos follows an off-season of recruiting swings and misses from new club and coach Wayne Bennett.
Bennett missed the main target Cameron Munster, with half of Sean O’Sullivan likely to partner 19-year-old Isaiya Katoa in the first round against the Sydney Roosters on Sunday.
Rising prop Tom Gilbert and the veteran front row core of Jesse and Kenny Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi, Jarrod Wallace and Mark Nicholls will bear the brunt this year.
“The Dolphins have always said our recruitment strategy was about building a club with a strong future, rather than just for the 2023 season,” said Dolphins boss Terry Reader.