NRL supercoach Wayne Bennett signs four-year deal with Dolphins

Wayne Bennett is confident he's starting from a much stronger position as the Dolphins head coach than in his previous time as an NRL foundation coach.

The NRL expansion outfit confirmed the worst-kept secret in rugby league when they announced Bennett as their inaugural head coach.

The first coach to take four different teams to a grand final, Bennett has signed a four-year deal with the Dolphins before their maiden campaign in 2023. Bennett was Brisbane's foundation coach when the Broncos joined the NRL in 1988.

He led Brisbane to premiership glory in 1992, eventually spearheading them to six premierships in his 20-year stint before leaving Red Hill in 2008.

The 71-year-old said the parallels between the two clubs couldn't be more stark heading into their first NRL campaigns, however.

"This is an established club," Bennett said of the Dolphins. "And I recognise that it's my job to come in here and work within this framework.

"When we started in 1988 at the Broncos ... we had no club, we had no ground, we had virtually nothing.

"But it's a wonderful, wonderful facility here. Extremely well run, very successful. So it's a different context.

"The job's still the same but a different context."

Bennett is yet to finalise his coaching team and his first role at the club will be identifying key recruitment targets to build a competitive squad.

The Dolphins can begin negotiations with players from November 1, with Queensland State of Origin stars Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, Cameron Munster and Christian Welch among those who will be on the radar.

Bennett refused to discuss specific players but said securing top talent would be the priority.

"You've got a nine and a half million dollar salary cap," he said. "You know you've got to get some marquee players, so that'll be our priority to get those and build the other players around them.

"One of the differences here in this situation - in '88 there was a lot of State of Origin players that were playing in Brisbane club football and number from this club, that came to the Broncos to start that.

"We don't have that luxury this time.

"They're all playing in the NRL now at clubs so we've got to work through that and come up with the best roster we possibly can."