The Canberra Raiders could have a fight on their hands to hold onto young bull Corey Horsburgh with the NRL set to bring a 17th team into the competition in 2023.
Englishmen Josh Hodgson and Ryan Sutton could also be targets for any expansion team with the pair able to sign with other clubs come November 1.
The NRL put their case to the 16 current clubs on Thursday and look set to rubber stamp expansion and the introduction of a second Brisbane-based team.
While the Green Machine have several Queenslanders in their ranks, including Maroons star Josh Papalii and New Zealand international Jordan Rapana, Horsburgh's the main one off contract - along with outside back Elijah Anderson, who's on a development contract after making his NRL debut this season.
The Redcliffe Dolphins are favourites to claim the 17th licence and Horsburgh could come up as a possible target if they're looking for expats to entice home.
Horsburgh's had a horror run with injury the past two seasons, with a foot injury ruling him out of most of 2020 and then a wrist injury further sidelining him this year.
He's undergone a shoulder reconstruction in the post-season after he injured his shoulder in the final round against the Sydney Roosters.
The 23-year-old's expected to be fit for the season opener, although he won't return to contact training until January.
Hodgson would be an excellent target for any expansion team looking to settle into the NRL quickly.
He's been one of the top hookers in the league since moving to Canberra from English Super League club Hull KR in 2015.
Plus he'd bring valuable leadership, having relinquished the Raiders co-captaincy this year.
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The 31-year-old has been widely linked with leaving the Green Machine, but there's been no formal approach to the Raiders.
Sutton's emerged as one of the top props in the NRL, but has already held preliminary talks about extending his time in lime green.
It's believed those talks could ramp up again in the coming weeks.
Raiders chief executive Don Furner said there would naturally be more competition to sign players following expansion.
"It'll be harder for clubs because they've got to sign 30 players, so without a doubt it'll be more competitive," he said.
"But there's other clubs it'll affect more than us."
Furner backed expansion, saying the NRL presented a strong case to add a 17th team at their meeting on Thursday.
He said the financial case stacked up for the introduction of a second Brisbane team.
The NRL has already negotiated new Fox Sports and Sky New Zealand TV deals for an expanded competition, with new free-to-air and naming rights deals in the pipeline.
"They just gave us the financials and why it would add up and why it expands the game. And I think everyone's in agreement," Furner said.
"We're an expansion club. We understand the benefits of expansion for the game and we just needed to see the financials, and they looked good today and we'll support it."
Meanwhile, Rapana, Joe Tapine, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Corey Harawira-Naera and Bailey Simonsson have been named in New Zealand's extended World Cup squad for next year's postponed event in England.