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Bulldogs boost: Wakeham, Faitala-Mariner sign new deals

Canterbury have capped off a busy week on the recruitment and retention front with confirmation Brandon Wakeham and Raymond Faitala-Mariner have each re-signed for a further two seasons.

The contract extensions will keep Wakeham and Faitala-Mariner at Belmore until at least the end of 2022  after the club announced Trent Barrett as head coach from next year on Wednesday. 

Their retentions follow confirmation the Bulldogs have signed Raiders winger Nick Cotric on a three-year deal from next season, while suspended winger Jayden Okunbor will remain at the club.

Former back-rower Corey Harawira-Naera was released to the Raiders, effective immediately, on Thursday.

Bulldogs ‘buying in’ to Barrett being future coach

Wakeham, 21, is a local product, playing his junior rugby league with Chester Hill before coming through the Bulldogs development system.

The Fijian international, who was nominated for the prestigious Golden Boot award last year, managed six games at halfback under former coach Dean Pay this year before he was left out of last week's loss to the Dragons.

Faitala-Mariner, 26, will extend his time at the club into a fifth season after moving from the Warriors in 2016.

"As part of our focus on developing quality and depth in our playing squad, we are delighted that we have been able to keep two talented young players at Belmore for the next two seasons," Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill said in a statement.

Raymond Faitala-Mariner has re-signed until the end of the 2022 season.
Raymond Faitala-Mariner has re-signed until the end of the 2022 season. ©NRL Photos

"Brandon is a local junior who has shown the talent he has at both NRL and International level with Fiji, while Ray is the type of hard-running forward that provides us with great energy whenever he is on the field.

"Both players are part of a long term plan to make sure that we keep bringing quality young players through our system and continue to develop them as they form the nucleus of our squad going forward."

Barrett and the Bulldogs have decisions to make on at least a further eight players off contract for next season, including veteran playmaker Kieran Foran and back-rower Adam Elliott.