It would have been unthinkable three years ago, but the Bulldogs are now seriously considering having another crack at getting superstar Sonny Bill Williams back to Belmore.
Canterbury is the only NRL club Sonny Bill can play for next season under the terms of an agreement thrashed out when he walked mid-contract in 2008.
“I’ve never said we wouldn’t have Sonny back,” Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg said.
But the Bulldogs boss insists he would only deal with Sonny and not his agent, Khoder Nasser, who orchestrated the move to French rugby three years ago.
“Time heals all wounds and you don’t slam the door shut on anyone,” Greenberg said.
“If his next deal is about money, he’ll go back and play football in France, but if he wants to test himself again in the toughest competition in the world, he’ll come back to the NRL.
“Whoever is coaching us next year will have a view on it and decide whether we show some interest.
“I’d want to deal with him personally, and not his agent.”
The Bulldogs still have Sonny Bill under a legally binding agreement that he cannot play for another NRL club until 2013, when his original contract, which was $400,000 a season, was due to expire.
The Warriors two years ago approached Greenberg about paying compensation for a clearance but the deal fell through.
They would consider an amount of around $200,000 to release Williams now if any other NRL clubs were interested in signing him.
“Whatever happens, he’s an elite athlete and it would be great to see him back playing NRL.”
Williams is a free agent after the rugby union World Cup final in New Zealand later this month.
“I don’t want to make a hasty decision,” he said recently. “It’s not right for myself or my family.
“I’ve just got to assess the situation after the World Cup. At this stage, I’m trying to push everything away and make everything else irrelevant and just solely concentrate on rugby.”