The Bulldogs are set to enter the fray in the hunt for David Fifita’s signature by meeting the Brisbane forward to discuss a potential switch for the 2021 NRL season.
NRL.com understands that although the Broncos are the front-runners to retain Fifita’s services, the Bulldogs intend to state their case for a move south when they meet with him later this week.
The 19-year-old, who is under contract at the Broncos for 2020, enjoyed his best season in just his second year of first grade with 24 appearances for Brisbane, scoring seven tries and causing carnage to opposing defensive lines.
Fifita earned himself a Queensland State of Origin jersey and the captaincy of the Junior Kangaroos in the win over France in October.
It’s believed there are several clubs wanting Fifita’s services and wishing to make his decision a little harder. They have also scheduled meetings with Fifita’s management.
But first the NRL has to hand down its Integrity Unit findings into an alleged assault by Fifita of a security guard outside a Bali nightclub four weeks ago.
Fifita spent two nights in a Indonesian jail cell while a deal was being brokered for his release between the Broncos, the security guard and police.
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He is off contract at the end of next year and is considered one of the hottest properties on the market when it comes to attacking forwards.
The Bulldogs have recruited well already for 2020 with Dean Britt (South Sydney), Joe Stimson (Storm) and Sione Katoa (Penrith) joining the likes of Adam Elliott, Josh Jackson, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Corey Harawira-Naera, Aiden Tolman and Dylan Napa to form an impressive pack up front.
The club has been mired in salary cap constrictions for the past two seasons but is ready to splurge a bit more for 2021 and beyond.
Canterbury have several players coming off contract at the end of next season, including Jackson, injured star Kieran Foran, Faitala-Mariner, Tolman and Marcelo Montoya.