Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett says the club is “heading in the right direction” in its bid to lure Storm superstar Cameron Munster to Queensland.
Melbourne’s contract talks to keep Munster beyond 2023 are looking difficult for the club, with reports the Dolphins have put forward a deal worth more than $1 million a year to lure him out of Victoria.
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The temptation for the 27-year-old to join the NRL’s incoming 17th franchise follows talk that Melbourne has only offered the two-time premiership winner a deal in the ballpark of $750,000-$800,000 per season.
And it doesn’t get any easier for the Storm to keep their star five-eighth with the Dolphins focusing heavily on Munster after former target, Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga, turned down interest to remain in Newcastle.
“A lot of that [contract talk] is speculation, but we’re keen to have Cameron at Redcliffe, whether it’s in 2023 or 2024,” Bennett confirmed on 9News Queensland.
“We’re working there with his management.”
Since the end of the season, the Dolphins have been particularly interested in Storm players. Brothers Jesse and Kenny Bromwich, as well as State of Origin back-rower Felise Kaufusi, have all signed deals with the club from next season.
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Bennett said he was happy with the progress his club had made in its negotiations with Munster.
“I’m not overly confident, but I’m not underly confident,” he added.
“There’s a fair bit to be done, but we feel we’re heading in the right direction in regards to our end of the bargain.
“Hopefully Cameron will want to come.”
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On Tuesday, the Dolphins confirmed another signing for season 2023, with North Queensland backrower Tom Gilbert joining the club.
Bennett said he wasn’t worried over whether or not he could complete the roster he wants in time for pre-season training at the end of this year.
“I’m confident we will get there in the end, it’s a process, but I’m happy to stay with the process and make sure guys like Tom Gilbert – we get quality players with great futures in the game at the Dolphins,” he said.
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