The Dolphins are reportedly fuming after Reece Walsh snubbed the NRL expansion side to return to the Brisbane Broncos next season in a bombshell move.
It was revealed on Tuesday night Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has signed with the Warriors after the New Zealand club granted Walsh a release on compassionate grounds.
Walsh had a further two seasons to go on his contract but the Warriors confirmed on Wednesday the fullback has been granted a "conditional" release that locks out every other club from signing Walsh — other than the Broncos.
Walsh has reportedly turned down a huge offer from Wayne Bennett's Dolphins, who were "furious" Walsh had been allowed to negotiate exclusively with the Broncos.
It is another bitter blow for the Dolphins, who are yet to land a marquee signing ahead of their entry into the NRL next year.
"There has been a major change in Reece's personal circumstances in the past two months which have impacted on his ability to move to Auckland with the club next season," Warriors CEO Cameron George said.
"We're working through his situation and have given him permission, with some conditions, to look at options in Brisbane. It's not the way either Reece or the club had wanted this to play out but we respect the issues he has."
"We're working through his situation and have given him permission, with some conditions, to look at options in Brisbane.
The Daily Telegraph's Phil Rothfield, revealed some "bad blood" between the Warriors and the Dolphins may have scuppered any potential deal.
"Warriors gave him conditional release that he goes to Broncos," Rothfield tweeted.
"Bad blood between Dolphins and Warriors," he tweeted.
Nine's Ben Dobbin added the Dolphins were "furious" at that news and have contacted the NRL seeking clarification.
"The Dolphins have rung the NRL this morning furious and demanding clarification on why the Warriors are allowed to dictate the only club Reece Walsh is allowed to play at," Dobbin tweeted.
"Brisbane Broncos will have drama around the roster for 2023 now."
It is a huge backflip from Walsh, who rejected reports in May saying he was going to leave the club at the end of the year.
"At first I sort of laughed about it and would ask the boys, 'Where do you think they get this information from?' because it definitely isn't coming from me or my management or my family," he said.
"After a while, it became too much, there were questions from my teammates.
"It's got to the point where it's worth addressing because it's spiralling out of control.
"It's not fair on my teammates or the club that they think I am wanting to go elsewhere. It's not the case. We haven't spoken to any other clubs.
"I have a contract in place which means I am 100 per cent going to New Zealand next year."
The Warriors viewed Walsh as their long-term replacement for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck who quit league for rugby last season.
The 19-year-old Walsh has hit the ground running, proving to be one of the most exciting young stars in the competition.
His move also raises questions over Selwyn Cobbo, the young Origin winger who is expected to become a fullback in the future.