The Dolphins are finally ready to land a big fish in the shape of Paramatman Ils back-rower Ryan Matterson.
Named for its Origin debut yesterday, Matterson is closing the deal at the end of the season and has been in hot demand for several months.
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At least five rival clubs are chasing the big forward, while Iles is desperate to hold on.
But Wide World of Sports has learned that Matterson has agreed to join NRL’s new franchise and will probably captain Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins in their inaugural NRL season.
His departure will be a disaster for the Eagles, who have already lost to the Tigers forward Isaiah Papali, the Marata Newcomers to the Warriors, Reed Mahoney to the Bulldogs and Ray Stone to the Dolphins next season.
The Dolphins are constantly signing players but Matterson is by far the biggest name they are ready to attract.
Other players who have already joined the club are Felice Kaufussi, Jesse Bromwich, Kenny Bromwich (Storm), Stone (Paramatta), Vallins Tay Hoare (Rugby Union), Jameen Isaaco (Brisbane), Juan Eitken (Warriors), Tom Goiber, Jennings (Panthers), Edrick Lee (Knights), Connelly Lemuelu (Cowboy) and Mark Nichols (South Sydney).
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