SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 15: Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Craig Garvey of the Bulldogs celebrate victory during the round 10 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on May 15, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have extended the contracts of forward Raymond Faitala-Mariner and local junior Brandon Wakeham.

Faitala-Mariner, who debuted in the NRL for the Warriors back in 2015, made 16 appearances for the Bulldogs last season, many of them off the bench.

The hard-running 24-year-old second rower was a major impact player with his aggressive running style and ability to offload.

Faitala-Mariner has had his contract extended for an additional year until the end of the 2020 season.

19-year-old halfback Brandon Wakeham has received a two-year contract extension, keeping him at the Bulldogs until the end of the 2020 season.

The local junior from Chester Hill, is a graduate of the club’s Harold Matthews, SG Ball and Youth High-Performance teams and was named SG Ball Player of the Season in 2017.


  1. Brilliant news! Faitala-Mariner is a beast. Can offload, bend the line and has good footwork and is real hard to handle. He is very similar to what SBW was when he was at the Dogs. I haven’t seen anything of Wakeham but from what Dogs fans are saying, he is going to be a star in the future! He’s a good young halfback with talent in spades and is a local junior to boot, which is great because Dean Pay wants to make the Bulldogs juniors a priority again

    • “because Dean Pay wants to make the Bulldogs juniors a priority again”.
      Without being overly critical, I’d argue Pay’s priority will be to hold onto the chance of making it as a FG coach.
      If he’s focusing on juniors it’s because he sees a short term X factor in them, or more likely, because he’s just plugging a gap in his FG options.
      I understand why Doggies supporters think (but probably more accurately, hope) that Des was the problem, but I highly doubt it was.

      • By priority I was saying to make them important again. We have lots of talented juniors that deserve to play FG. When it comes to x factor, Wakeham has it and he can be a player to build the club around in a few years because he’s only 19. Des was the problem but he wasn’t at the same time. A lot went wrong with him and the same with management. He was the one who never promoted talented juniors, never dropped underperforming players, brought up players who deserve to be in FG, never changed our forever stagnating style of play and let go of so many talented players (Taupau, Finucane etc). Not to mention the back ended deals which finally bit us last year, that can come down to management too.

        • Now the club is finally going in a new and fresh direction where these wrongs will be right again. Pay has been more than happy to invest in the juniors, is going to bring up talented players (Cleeland, To’Omaga etc), is going to bring an enterprising style of play and is making the right decisions where players play (Mbye at fullback although he would also be sweet as a ball running 5/8, Hopoate back to the centres and Klemmer going back to prop). He is also ready to drop lazy players because Fa’amanu Brown was being lazy in training and Pay got him to train with the part time squad until he fixes his attitude and apparently he is now training very hard to get back with the big boys so that says a lot. This is pre season training as well

        • Cleeland is a Ipswich junior. But I see a ton of potential in juniors like Okunbor, Toomaga and Wakeham. Tho Kerr was probably talented than them all wonder what that kid is?

    • Basically if the Dogs never made the grand final team in the lower grades then there isn’t to much talent to bring into first’s. The gap in size speed and agility to the NRL is enormous. particularly in the forward department. If the Dogs had a red hot side then perhaps two players may make it in the big time, however they didn’t and next season you may see one of those players mentioned above play a few games ONLY of NRL. Like every team in the comp these days you can’t grow a premiership from your tribal region, Like every team in this comp to win it your must purchase bits and pieces from many clubs. All teams that win the premiership have bought it. Canterbury when its their turn again will be no different.

      • Our under 20s side was disappointing but our NSW Cup side made the top 4 and made the preliminary final. That team was legit on fire. The players that I named apart from Wakeham have all been in NSW Cup for a few years and were apart of the success in the side. They’re ready to go to play FG for sure, especially Cleeland.

      • It’s honestly sad and true that teams can’t win premierships by growing players from junior areas. Lots of teams will have a fair few local juniors, but teams still have to buy. Just for an example, Souths of 2014 had like 6 local juniors in their GF winning side but even that hardly happens these days. I wish teams could win comps with local juniors but it is impossible.

  2. I know that Cleeland came from Ipswich. Okunbor is another talented local junior who will get a run soon enough. I don’t know what junior club To’omaga comes from but I think he should be on the bench this season. Wakeham will be learning off Foran and will be our next big halfback in a few years, kid has plenty of time. I have no idea what happened to Kerr. Either went to a different club or left the game altogether.

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