NRL 2021: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Matt Dufty, fullback indicators one-year deal

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Squad renovations at the Dragons and Bulldogs are well underway, with Matt Dufty joining a rapidly changing blue and white backline next season, teammate Brayden Wiliame also knocking out, and Will Hopoate likely not to replace him in the Red V.

Dufty will sign a one-year contract with Canterbury in 2022 that will give him the chance to keep his NRL career alive after a protracted saga about his future.

Hopoate was also in talks about an early move to the Dragons, so that a player swap was recently discussed by the two clubs.

However, St. George Illawarra sources have told NRL.com that the off-contract center is unlikely to end up in the Red V at this point, even if Wiliame returns to France in 2022, and the club is poised to start looking around the market.

The combination of Wiliame with the French rugby union team Perpignan via a three-year contract next season increases the Dragons’ need for full-backs.

The Dragons are open to an immediate signature before August 1st and have discussed such a move with Hopoate as they have two open ranks after Paul Vaughan’s sacking.

Jaydn Su’A’s move from Redfern to a three-year contract won’t be accelerated as the Rabbitohs intend to keep him for their final assault while Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, the Warriors’ prop, will bolster Anthony Griffin’s Forward shares on a contract over three games.

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If the Warriors survive Sunday’s duel against Cronulla unscathed, Taunoa-Brown will join the Dragons on Monday and be available for the game against Manly on Friday, where several players will serve their bans from last weekend’s COVID-19 violation .

Fragrance’s arrival at Belmore in 2021 continues a major overhaul of Trent Barrett’s backline stocks, with Hopoate expected to move on before next season as well.

Since Dufty is moving to recruits Josh Addo-Carr, Brent Naden and Matt Burton in blue and white next season and Nick Meaney is moving to Melbourne, the Bulldogs will have a significantly different line-up in 2022.

With Kyle Flanagan’s future continuing to ask questions after being dropped again after Saturday’s hard-fought loss to the Roosters, only Nick Cotric, Corey Allan and Jake Averillo may make a first-choice appearance at Belmore in 2022.

The club remains the front runner in securing Tevita Pangai jnr after telling a three-year offer from 2022 last week.

For Dufty, his one-year contract ends for several months after the Dragons told him he would not be offered a new deal.

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At some point, a move to the Super League seemed most likely for the 25-year-old, who caught the interest of Brisbane and Canberra – when he toured the Raiders facilities last month – before both clubs looked elsewhere in the market.

“Everyone knows what an exciting player Matt Dufty is and his 44 tries in 79 games are testament to the offensive flair he brings,” said Aaron Warburton, CEO of Bulldogs.

“He is quick and elusive with valuable NRL experience and we believe he will be an excellent addition to our backline for the next season.

“We continue to build the squad that we believe can be successful for the next season and beyond.

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