NRL Rd 11 - Raiders v Rabbitohs
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - JULY 25: Nick Cotric of the Raiders Is tackled by Dane Gagai of the Rabbitohs during the round 11 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at GIO Stadium on July 25, 2020 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Canterbury Bulldogs' winger Nick Cotric has officially been released by the club to take up a three-year deal with the Canberra Raiders.

The new deal with the green machine will see Cotric relocate back to his first NRL club until the end of 2024.

The trip home for Cotric has been on the cards for weeks as part of a three-club swap, which saw Bailey Simonsson move immediately to the Parramatta Eels last week.

Simonsson reportedly wanted to be closer to family in Sydney, while the Bulldogs were desperate to shake some of their salary cap, and saw Cotric's big contract as the perfect way to do it.

Today's announcement confirms Cotric - a former New South Wales State of Origin representative - will move back to the nation's capital and almost certainly take a spot on the wing alongside Jordan Rapana, while Xavier Savage's push for the number one jersey will see Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad line up in the centres alongside one of Jarrod Croker, Sebastian Kris or Matthew Timoko.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 06: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad of the Raiders looks on during the 2019 NRL Grand Final match between the Canberra Raiders and the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Raiders CEO Don Furner said Cotric's return would be a boost for the Raiders.

“We’re looking forward to having Nick re-join the club for the next three seasons,” Furner said.

“Nick is a local boy who made his way through the local rugby league pathway program to the NRL, NSW and Australia while playing for us and we know the skills and capability he has as a player.”

“Nick has indicated to us that he’s really excited about returning to Canberra and the Raiders, and we’re confident he can play his best football for us.”

“The Raiders are a proud development club who invest heavily in our pathway program and to have a top-level player like Nick Cotric who has been through our system return to the club is a show of faith in this.”

Cotric played 14 games for the Bulldogs during his one-year stint with the club, the back end of the season ruined by injury, while he previously played 93 games for the Raiders between 2017 and 2020.

Canterbury CEO Aaron Warburton thanked Cotric.

"I'd like to thank Nic on behalf of the club, for the great effort and level of professionalism he has shown while here at the Bulldogs," Warburton said in an official club statement.

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