Dolphins sign young guns

Published 8:20am 16 December 2021

Dolphins sign young guns
Words by Kylie Knight

The Dolphins have secured three young talents for their roster ahead of their entry into the 2023 NRL competition.

Head Coach Wayne Bennett says providing a balanced roster for the team to draw on in their opening season is key.

The three young additions to the squad – Michael Roberts, Harrison Graham and Valynce Te Whare - are examples of the Dolphins already building for the future.

Roberts has already shown his elite ability at schoolboy level and is the younger brother of NRL try machine James Roberts and nephew of former Roosters’ NRL player Amos Roberts.

The teenage five-eighth or outside back scored the match-winning try of the 2021 southern Queensland final of the NRL Schoolboys Cup for famed rugby league nursery Palm Beach-Currumbin High.

The 80m individual effort broke an 18-18 deadlock with Marsden High, with just three minutes remaining, and catapulted PBC High onto the state championship.

Crafty hooker Graham has already represented Queensland at under-18s level.

He spearheaded the Wynnum Seagulls to the Queensland Rugby League’s Hastings-Deerings Colts under-21 premiership this year and scored in his senior debut for Wynnum in the Intrust Super Cup.

Both Roberts and Graham will be on development contracts with the Dolphins when pre-season training begins in November next year.

Rugby union try-scoring machine Valynce Te Whare will join the Dolphins’ senior squad after being signed to a contract.

The strongly built outside back has shown his wares with Waikato since making his debut in 2019 in New Zealand’s provincial rugby union championship.

Vision for the future

Dolphins’ chief executive Terry Reader says the franchise has a long-term vision for their roster development.

“Since the Dolphins’ recruitment team first came together to discuss players, we have always been of the view that squad members 21 to 30 are just as important as players one to 10,” Reader says.

“These three young players have been recruited from different backgrounds and different competitions - this underlines that we are doing extensive recruitment to build a balanced and talented roster for our entry to the 2023 NRL competition.

“It also adds to the work we are already doing with junior development to ensure the future of the Dolphins, including a junior Dolphins NRL academy camp we held this week.

“That group of young players will always hold a place in history as attendees at the first ever Junior Dolphins’ NRL training camp.”

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