Redcliffe a 'logical' addition: Bennett

Wayne Bennett has declared Redcliffe are the only logical option to be added to the NRL if the competition expands to a 17th team in coming years.

Coach WAYNE BENNETT talks to his players during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia.
Coach WAYNE BENNETT talks to his players during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Wayne Bennett has backed Redcliffe's push to be the NRL's next expansion location, declaring it the "only logical" contender to be a 17th team.

The Dolphins this week upped the ante on their bid to join the NRL, opening an 11,500-capacity stadium and highlighting their approximate $100 million in assets.

The NRL will consider their expansion options over the off-season, with ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys keen to add another team to south-east Queensland when viable.

Part of Redcliffe's proposal includes playing most games at Suncorp Stadium, with others at their home ground and some on the Sunshine Coast.

The most likely date remains 2022 or 2023 in line with the next TV rights deal.

"It's only logical for them to be the No.1 contender if they have 17 teams," Bennett, who was Brisbane's coach on their entry in 1988, said.

"And I am more in favour of 17 teams than 18.

"You talk about resources and viability, Redcliffe have got all of that. They have a tremendous club there, they have for a long time.

"They have great facilities, a great junior club and they play in the State League and have won the State League.

"It's all there from the point of view of the game not wanting to prop a club up in two or three years time ... they have the wealth there."

Redcliffe chairman Bob Jones has already indicated his interest in Bennett coaching any inaugural NRL team, given he will exit South Sydney at the end of next year.

Bennett has not had any contact with the Redcliffe club regarding that, but does know south-east Queensland better than most.

In his time as Broncos coach, the initial Gold Coast franchise struggled for any financial clout while the South Queensland Crushers did not survive the Super League war.

And while there had previously been concerns over endangering Brisbane with another team entering the market, Bennett said that was not an issue now.

"With the viewing audience and size of south-east Queensland, it's obvious they should put a team there," he said.

"The Broncos are 33 years old now, so they are well established. No one is really a threat to them in that regard.

"The Titans are starting to establish themselves on the Coast now. So I don't see an issue there. "