Package deal: Jets want Bennett and Reynolds to head up Brisbane expansion team

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Package deal: Jets want Bennett and Reynolds to head up Brisbane expansion team

By Michael Chammas

The Brisbane Jets want Adam Reynolds to sign a one-year deal with South Sydney and potentially join Wayne Bennett as part of a package deal for the new Queensland franchise in 2023.

With Bennett in the box seat to land the head coaching gig for one of the three potential Queensland expansion bids - pending approval from the NRL in July - the door is now open for Reynolds to follow the seven-time premiership-winning coach north of the border.

Adam Reynolds and Wayne Bennett could reunite in Brisbane as part of the new expansion team in line to enter the competition in 2023.

Adam Reynolds and Wayne Bennett could reunite in Brisbane as part of the new expansion team in line to enter the competition in 2023.Credit:Getty/Digitally altered

Reynolds is refusing to sign a one-year extension at Souths and has decided to hit the open market for a long term deal, however Brisbane Jets general manager of football Scott Sattler said the Rabbitohs halfback would sit at the top of a list of recruitment targets if he was to willing to remain a free agent for 2023.

“He’d be a tremendous player to have in your system if you were starting a club up,” Sattler told the Herald on Thursday.

“He has all the attributes that would be very attractive to a new team. He’s a great club man, a family man, plays with plenty of pride, turns four into six and you also get a second coach on the football field. He would be great, but at the moment with his contract situation and him wanting to look after his family with a long term deal, it’s not realistic. In the situation where it became realistic and you had a license, he would dominate the discussion at the recruitment table.

“Whether Wayne was the coach or not, he would be a large part of your discussion at the recruitment table. He would dominate a conversation if it became a realistic option. He still has a lot of footy left in him and also has a young family. I never want to disrespect the Rabbits. They deserve to take this process through to the nth degree with Adam. We’ll wait and see what happens.”

Halves available in 2023

  • Adam Reynolds* (Rabbitohs)
  • Jack Wighton (Raiders)
  • Cody Walker (Rabbitohs)
  • Ben Hunt (Dragons)
  • Dylan Brown (Eels)
  • Mitchell Pearce (Knights)
  • Mitchell Moses (Eels)
  • George Williams (Raiders)
  • Brodie Croft (Broncos)
  • Jamal Fogarty (Titans)
  • Josh Schuster (Sea Eagles)
  • Chanel Harris-Tavita (Warriors)
  • Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)

Reynolds’ other option, if he wanted the security of a long term deal, would be to sign a three-year deal with a team like the North Queensland Cowboys but insert a clause or player option that would allow him to negotiate with the prospective expansion team if they enter the competition in 2023.

Jets chief executive Nicholas Livermore hoped Reynolds would consider the future expansion team as he ponders his next career move. “I’d hope Adam Reynolds would be available and only signs a deal for 2022,” Livermore said. “You’d absolutely want anyone of his standard.”


“Someone like Adam Reynolds is a proven game winner and big game performer. From a bid director’s perspective, we want to build the most successful team from day one, and if you have Adam Reynolds and Wayne Bennett you have winners and proven performers.

Fullbacks available in 2023

  • Kalyn Ponga (Knights)
  • AJ Brimson (Titans)
  • Ryan Papenhuyzen (Storm)
  • Clint Gutherson (Eels)
  • Dylan Edwards (Panthers)

“Any player of his calibre, if someone approached me we’d be encouraging them to sign a one year deal to leave themselves the option of joining a new franchise in 2023. It wouldn’t be the first time agents have lined up playing contracts to coincide with the start of a new TV rights deal.”

Livermore said he had little doubt that Bennett would be top of the queue when it comes to candidates to coach the new franchise team when an announcement on whether the NRL will expand is made as early as July.

“When it comes to Wayne, you just have to look at his record,” Livermore said. “Queensland wouldn’t have won the State of Origin series last year if he wasn’t coach. You’d be hard-pressed finding anyone to disagree.

Hookers available in 2023

  • Harry Grant (Storm)
  • Apisai Koroisau (Panthers)
  • Brandon Smith (Storm)
  • Reed Mahoney (Eels)
  • Jake Turpin (Broncos)
  • Tom Starling (Raiders)
  • Blayke Brailey (Sharks)
  • Jayden Brailey (Knights)
  • Wayde Egan (Warriors)
  • Reuben Cotter (Cowboys)

“I know the rapport he has with his players. If you signed Wayne Bennett as coach, players just want to play for him. Craig Bellamy has the same at the Storm - players just want to play under those guys. If and when we get the license, Wayne would be one of your top candidates.”

The NRL is waiting on a business analysis from senior strategic projects manager Lachlan Smith in the next month before making a final decision on whether to begin interviewing bid consortiums led by the Redcliffe Dolphins, Brisbane Firehawks and Jets.

Outside backs available in 2023

  • Joseph Manu (Roosters)
  • Moses Mbye (Tigers)
  • Alex Johnston (Rabbitohs)
  • Jack Bird (Dragons)
  • Josh Mansour (Rabbitohs)
  • Ken Maumalo (Warriors)
  • Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (Cowboys)
  • Herbie Farnworth (Broncos)
  • Moses Suli (Sea Eagles)
  • Jamayne Isaako (Broncos)
  • Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Bulldogs)
  • Phillip Sami (Titans)
  • Paul Momirovski (Panthers)
  • Jaxson Paulo (Rabbitohs)
  • Tommy Talau (Tigers)

“It’s very realistic to say that we’ll have a second team in Brisbane in 2023,” V’landys told the Herald in February. “From what I’ve seen and the presentations that have been given to me, they are well advanced. If I said 2022 they’d be ready. They’ve been doing work for years. There’s no reason why we can’t be up and running in 2023.”

The NRL wants to make sure the business case stacks up and ensure the venture is commercially justifiable. A lot also hinges on the broadcast partners. The NRL has also vowed to meet with all 16 NRL clubs to address their concerns before taking the next step.

Forwards available in 2023

  • Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Titans)
  • James Fisher-Harris (Panthers)
  • Viliame Kikau (Panthers)
  • Tevita Pangai jnr (Broncos)
  • Wade Graham (Sharks)
  • Junior Paulo (Eels)
  • Felise Kaufusi (Storm)
  • Marty Taupau (Sea Eagles)
  • Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Eels)
  • Jesse Bromwich (Storm)
  • Kenny Bromwich (Storm)
  • Tyson Frizell (Knights)
  • Moeaki Fotuaika (Titans)
  • Lindsay Collins (Roosters)
  • Moses Leota (Panthers)
  • Matt Lodge (Broncos)
  • Tariq Sims (Dragons)
  • Jordan McLean (Cowboys)
  • Jarrod Wallace (Titans)
  • Ryan Matterson (Eels)
  • Paul Vaughan (Dragons)
  • Briton Nikora (Sharks)
  • Daniel Saifiti (Knights)
  • Jacob Saifiti (Knights)
  • Luciano Leilua (Tigers)
  • Christian Welch (Storm)
  • Corey Harawira-Naera (Raiders)
  • Coen Hess (Cowboys)
  • Nat Butcher (Roosters)
  • Corey Horsburgh (Raiders)
  • Elliott Whitehead (Raiders)
  • Josh McGuire (Cowboys)

A number of clubs, led by the Gold Coast Titans, have pulled together to hire a private consultancy group to determine the financial implications of a 17th team.

One of the reasons the NRL wants to expand is to increase dwindling junior participation numbers in Queensland, however the game’s leaders insist they won’t move ahead with plans unless it is a financial winner.

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