A potential halves pairing of Shaun Johnson and Matt Burton has Canterbury weighing up a move for the New Zealand international after the Sharks notified a trio of veterans that their services to the Shire would be coming to an end this year.
As reported by Fox Sports’ James Hooper, the Bulldogs are the first of many expected club to be showing interest in Johnson, who will depart Cronulla ahead of the 2022 season.
The 30-year-old, along with teammates Josh Dugan and Aaron Woods, were reportedly told by the Sharks this week that they will not have their contracts extended past 2021.
Johnson had reportedly put forward a two-year, $1.2 million deal to remain with the Sharks, an offer the club declined.
The club will also ignite it’s new era under incoming coach Craig Fitzgibbon, who is touted to set on a recruiting raid across the league ahead of his first season at the helm of an NRL club.
Now, with Johnson, Dugan and Woods not part of this new era, rival clubs are beginning to swarm on the former international representatives, namely Johnson.
The potential acquisition of Johnson would add to a sensational recruitment coup for rookie Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett, who is already set to welcome Burton, Storm flyer Josh Addo-Carr and Penrith centre Brent Naden to Belmore in 2022.