SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 21: Jake Averillo of the Bulldogs is tackled by Royce Hunt of the Sharks during the round six NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Bankwest Stadium on June 21, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

In a big blow for the Canterbury Bulldogs ahead of their crucial clash against the Gold Coast Titans, in-form fullback Jake Averillo has been ruled out after testing positive for Covid.

The club have advised that a replacement will be named ahead of kick-off on Sunday.

Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph have reported that winger Josh Addo-Carr is racing the clock to be fit after scans cleared him of what was suspected to be a possible season-ending injury earlier this week.

Addo-Carr came off during last week’s match against South Sydney with fears he had torn a glute, which would have forced a premature end to his season and cruelled his hopes of a return to the representative arena at the end-of-year World Cup.

While he wasn’t initially considered likely to play this weekend, the Averillo situation puts more urgency on his recovery as the Dogs desperately try and maintain their recent momentum and stay away from the wooden spoon.

“He’s a chance,” said interim coach Mick Potter.

“I’m not discounting him but I have a plan in place either way. We’ll give him up to the captain’s run.”

In better news for the Bulldogs, young centre Aaron Schoupp has been named on the bench after missing last week’s game following his own positive COVID diagnosis. He’ll slot in for Addo-Carr, should the 'Foxx' be unable to recover in time.

In more good news, veteran prop and English international Luke Thompson is available for the first time in six games after dealing with prolonged concussion symptoms and flying home for personal reasons.

Though there were reports that a number of Super League clubs tried to convince Thompson to return home permanently, Bulldogs maestro Phil Gould said he was confident Thompson would stay.