Bulldogs lock in Elliott after he knocks back rival offers
Adam Elliott's blue and white bloodlines have earned him a long-term crack at the Bulldogs' No.13 jumper after he knocked back serious approaches from Parramatta and the Warriors last season.
Elliott will lock Canterbury's scrum in Canberra on Thursday night after Aiden Tolman's untimely ankle injury against the Rabbitohs on Good Friday.
Tolman will be sidelined for at least two months with a high-grade syndesmosis injury, but ironically that lay-off may shore up his future at Belmore.
NRL.com understands his injury tempered interest from rivals, including Cronulla, who had made enquiries about the 29-year-old warhorse and whether Canterbury were willing to grant a mid-season release.
That discussion is now on hold, and it's just as well for the Dogs that Elliott spurned similar approaches last season, when his form provided one of few bright spots in a dreadful year for the club.
Elliott eventually signed a three-year extension until the end of 2020, but not before meeting Brad Arthur and Stephen Kearney and weighing up lucrative offers from both teams.
"It wasn't like it was the only deal I had," Elliott said of his Canterbury contract.
"There were a few hard decisions that I had to make and a couple of clubs that were going really well, had good futures in front of them that put offers on the table.
"There was definitely some consideration that I had to put towards those. There was a bit going on at the Bulldogs.
"There were times that I definitely had to weigh it up but I've been a Bulldogs supporter since I was a young fella and I was so lucky to sign with the club when I was 14.
"It was the team that I'd been going for my whole life so I'm pretty attached to the place. I just wasn't quite ready to leave yet. I'm very happy with the decision that I did make. Moving forward with the changes that have been made it was the right decision for me."
With a ball-playing past as a five-eighth in his junior days, Elliott trained at lock over the pre-season and now gets a genuine crack at making the No.13 jersey his own.
Tolman is contracted to the club for another two years and while Canterbury are not trying to push him out of that deal, it's understood the club would consider a release if one was sought, while Greg Eastwood's lucrative contract expires at the end of 2018.
Along with Josh Jackson, David Klemmer (contracted until the end of 2020) and fellow rep regular Aaron Woods (2021), Elliott is viewed as a key pillar in Canterbury's pack.
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And Jackson played his part in ensuring Elliott stayed the course despite upheaval that led to club favourites James Graham, Josh Reynolds, Sam Kasiano and eventually coach Des Hasler making their exits last year.
"Josh Jackson for me was someone that I spoke to after nearly every meeting that I had with the Bulldogs or another club," the Tathra junior said.
"Jacko's not naive, he knows that sometimes people do have to leave clubs so he was helping me out a lot.
But he also did say that he could see a big part of my future here.
"He's someone that I'd looked up to before I started playing and while I'm playing I have the utmost respect for.
"To have his support and be talking to him about the way the club's moving in the future was a big thing to me when I was weighing up."