NRL Trial Match - Sharks v Bulldogs
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Nick Cotric of the Bulldogs is tackled during the NRL Trial Match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on February 27, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

Nick Cotric is reportedly set for a return to the nation's capital.

In what would be a stunning return to his first NRL club, the rumour mill has gone into overdrive as the Canterbury Bulldogs struggle to keep their salary cap in check.

The club have signed ten players for the 2022 season, including high-profile recruits in Tevita Pangai Junior, Matt Burton and Josh Addo-Carr, while the likes of Matt Dufty, Paul Vaughan and Brent Naden have also joined the club.

The Bulldogs are set to officially confirm the signing of Viliame Kikau for the 2023 season in the coming days, following a photo of him in a Bulldogs' polo shirt alongside general manager Phil Gould and head coach Trent Barrett being leaked last week.

It has all stretched Canterbury's to breaking point, and while rumours of Cotric exiting the club have been slammed by Gould previously, it's a move which could make sense on multiple fronts, with The Daily Telegraph> reporting he could have played his last game for the club despite having two years to run on his deal.

The report suggests that while the Raiders are the front-runners to land Cotric, he could also end up at any of the Parramatta Eels, Wests Tigers, Dolphins or New Zealand Warriors.

From a Bulldogs' point of view, they have brought in Brent Naden and Josh Addo-Carr to fill a pair of backline positions, while Aaron Schoupp, Corey Allan, Braidon Burns and Jayden Okunbor are also in the squad.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 15: Aaron Schoupp of the Bulldogs passes as he is tackled during the round 22 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Moreton Daily Stadium, on August 15, 2021, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Cotric leaving for Canberra would also assist the Raiders greatly. They are currently in a position where Jarrod Croker could be in their best 17 for 2022.

While they have young talent emerging, through the likes of Matt Timoko and Sebastian Kris, Cotric would be a marked step up on anything they could currently offer in the centres, with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad also set for a shift into the three-quarter line.

Cotric could also line up on the wing for the Raiders, with only Jordan Rapana having a spot locked down, although Bailey Simonsson impressed at times throughout 2021 on the other side of the park.

It's understood Cotric could secure an immediate release if the Bulldogs and Raiders can work a deal out, while Cotric's manager - Sam Ayoub - was reportedly in Canberra on Tuesday.

Cotric is on big money at the Bulldogs, so the club would likely need to retain some of his salary over the next two years if Cotric was to be released.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. He should never have left Canberra. What a dud choice to go to Bulldogs. Only way forward for them is to buy an entire new team. Maybe they shouldn’t have chosen a rookie coach that still has achieved ZERO.