Both Matt Dufty and Paul Vaughan are in the midst of a fight for their futures, with the Canterbury Bulldogs reportedly not willing to offer both players a new deal for 2023 at this stage.

The former St George Illawarra Dragons duo were both given career lifelines by the blue and white for 2022.

Vaughan's came after his suspension and eventual sacking by the Dragons for hosting the infamous barbecue gate, breaching a number of COVID restrictions placed on players by the competition, and the New South Wales government on the wider population.

Dufty, on the other hand, didn't have his contract renewed at the end of the season by the Red V, who turned their attention to youth with body Cody Ramsey and Tyrell Sloan in their squad.

The Bulldogs brought Dufty and Vaughan in as part of a mammoth spending spree, which will carry over into 2023 with both Reed Mahoney and Viliame Kikau set to join the club for next season. The duo join an already bloated recruitment list for 2022 which includes Dufty and Vaughan, but also brought Josh Addo-Carr, Braidon Burns, Brent Naden, Matt Burton and Tevita Pangai Junior to the club among others.

It has stretched Canterbury's salary cap to breaking point, with The Daily Telegraph reporting that while Dufty stands a good chance of having his contract renewed, Vaughan doesn't given the nature of Canterbury's forward pack.

Vaughan has had a somewhat underwhelming start to the year in the middle third, and while the former New South Wales State of Origin player has potential to be far better than he has shown, he will need to show it soon if he hopes to extend his time at Belmore.

NRL Rd 4 - Storm v Bulldogs

He told the publication that he wants to get his future sorted sooner rather than later while admitting he has been below his best.

“I wanted to come out and play good footy,” Vaughan said.

“I’ve got a lot of improvement. Hopefully we get it sorted sooner rather than later. I had a good pre-season and trained well.

I don’t think I’ve played to the way I know I can. I have to show it first that I’m capable of playing good footy.”

Dufty, who has always been noted for his attack, but not his defence, is among the only top line fullbacks with NRL experience remaining off contract for 2023.

With Kalyn Ponga set to sign with the Knights on a new contract extension instead of exercising a get out clause via player options, it could leave Dufty as a highly chased after signature by clubs looking for a new number one, including the Dolphins, who enter the competition in 2023.

The Dolphins are well known to have gone hard after Ponga, however, the loss leaves them with only Jamayne Isaako as a capable fullback on the roster, while Wayne Bennett is far more likely to want to use the former Bronco and current Titan on the wing.