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Bulldogs fullback Will Hopoate.

A potential fullback logjam at Canterbury next year won't worry Will Hopoate, who is out to impress incoming coach Trent Barrett when he returns from injury on Sunday.

The Tongan star will wear the No.1 jersey against the Warriors for his first match since undergoing ankle surgery seven weeks ago.

Hopoate is one of several Bulldogs players, including Nick Meaney and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, who class fullback as their preferred position.

The club's also been linked in a Sydney Morning Herald report to Panthers rookie Charlie Staines, who has shone on the wing but is more at home at fullback.

The acquisition of Raiders winger Nick Cotric as a centre from 2021 will add to the competition in the Canterbury backline.

"To be honest, it seems like everyone's signing here next year," Hopoate said in reference to Canterbury constantly being tossed up as a landing place for players on the market.

"Trent has got control of that department of rugby league and all I can do is try and prove myself for next season.

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"I prefer to play back there but I haven't spoken to Trent about plans moving forward for next year.

"He's obviously still got a role and job [as an assistant coach] at Penrith so I'm sure he'll sit down with individuals and the team to get a gauge on what he wants.

"We had a lot of wingers playing in the back five at one point. I feel like I can play multiple positions as well."

When Hopoate last played it was under Dean Pay, whose exit has allowed Steve Georgallis to take the reins before Barrett arrives.

The 28-year-old Bulldog has been involved with Barrett in a NSW State of Origin camp.

"It's been a unique experience. It's something I haven't come across in my career," Hopoate said of Pay's departure while he was injured.

"That's the direction the club wanted to go [with Barrett]. I'm signed here for next year and if that's the direction they want to head, I'm all for it. We'll cross that bridge when it comes for '21."

Hopoate said he "would love" for Kieran Foran to remain in blue and white despite reports Canterbury had withdrawn a one-year offer to the 30-year-old five-eighth because he wanted a three-season deal.

"He played great last week [in a 29-28 loss to Wests Tigers]. If he didn't play I don't know how close we would have got with the hand that he had in the tries that we scored," Hopoate said.

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Another player off contract, centre Tim Lafai revealed he's yet to speak with Barrett about where he stands for next year.

But having returned to his debut NRL club last month after four-and-a-half years at the Dragons, Lafai wants to stay at Belmore.

"I've settled in pretty comfortably, myself and my family. If that offer does come up, I'd definitely be interested especially with a new coach coming," he said.

"These next six weeks are a good opportunity for myself and a few other boys to show not only Trent but other clubs out there what we have and what we can provide for them.

"It makes me want to work harder and dig a little deeper."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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