The Dolphins are celebrating winning the licence to be the NRL’s 17th team.
But as the champagne bottles pop, many rugby league fans are asking a serious question – where has “Redcliffe” gone?
The Redcliffe Dolphins have dropped the geographical part of the moniker and so, at this stage at least, will enter the NRL competition in 2023 known officially as the Dolphins.
They would be one of only two teams in the league not tied to a specific city or area. The Warriors dropped “New Zealand” from their name a few years ago, despite being based in Auckland.
The Dolphins are based at Redcliffe, north of Brisbane, but the NRL team will not be tied specifically to that area via their name.
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“It’s the Dolphins. I’m sure they will be able to provide a bit more detail on their thinking and their strategy, but that’s what we decided together,” NRL boss Andrew Abdo said of the decision to axe Redcliffe from the name.
“Historically that’s been a decision made by individual clubs, but for us it made sense to be the Dolphins.
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“We’re talking here not just about the greater Brisbane area, but we’re talking about northern Brisbane, we’re talking about Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast.
“They had a co-affiliation with two clubs, but they are also talking about Central Queensland Capras, and other broader affiliations, and there’s also plans in the works to discuss what the female pathway looks like.
“So there’s a broad number of considerations. What we see in our research is people are incredibly receptive to a city rivalry.
“Here we’ve got the best of both worlds – we’re going to have a very important rivalry here with the Broncos… more importantly we now have genuinely four Queensland teams, that opens up 12 rivalry matches for us, that opens up an opportunity for rivalry with the Titans and Cowboys, not just the Broncos.
“Being able to capture the inner-city rivalry, but also to appeal to a much broader base, is the best of both worlds, and that’s why the Dolphins as the name is more appropriate.”
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Dolphins chairman Bob Jones was later asked about the issue.
He says the Dolphins may yet change their name to reflect one city or area.
“The colours will be our traditional colours, red and white. Our name will certainly be the Dolphins, we’ve always been the Dolphins. What we put before or after it is open for discussion, that hasn’t been decided yet,” Jones said.
“The Dolphins we’re really committed to. Every Sydney team, and the Storm, everyone shortens them to what their brand is basically, and we’ll be the same.
“We’ll be the Dolphins, so that’s our name at the moment.”
Many rugby league pundits, however, weren’t impressed with the news of the Dolphins.
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