Canterbury Bulldogs director of football Phil Gould has confirmed reports Siosiua Taukeiaho causing his contract with the Canterbury Bulldogs to fall through.

The Bulldogs had been linked with signing Taukeiaho for months during the second half of 2023, with the forward requesting a release from the Catalans Dragons to return to Australia.

While it was widely reported that the contract between Taukeiaho and the Bulldogs was a done deal, the news was never announced by Canterbury and it was first reported earlier this week that it had fallen through after the forward failed a medical on a foot injury that will require surgery and leave him sidelined during the early parts of 2024.

Gould confirmed that news when speaking on SEN Radio, saying Taukeiaho was now likely to return to Catalans where he would undergo treatment for the injury.

“He was a player that we were really keen to pursue, he had a year to go on his contract in Catalans and they were looking for some sort of replacement if he was to come back to the NRL,” Gould told SEN 1170 Afternoons.

“Any deal with us was subject to a medical, as they normally are, unfortunately late in the season… he played with an injury in the Grand Final which only made it worse by the time he got back here, he's got a rather serious foot injury that requires surgery.

“He wouldn't pass any medical to get an offer from us, I'd imagine he'll go back to Catalans to complete his contract, certainly in the short term he'll need surgery and he's going to have quite a lengthy rehab with that.”

Taukeiaho may still aim for a swansong in the NRL following the completion of his Super League deal, having originally joined the French team from the Sydney Roosters ahead of the 2023 season.

A difficult first season in the competition saw him play just seven matches, and he is on contract with the club until the end of 2024.

His impending return to Australia in 2025 will likely see a number of clubs queue for the experienced forward, even at 32 years of age, with a lack of talent on the market.

The Bulldogs could well have another shot at Taukeiaho, with Gould aware the club are short in the forwards, but also not confident in what is on the open market.

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“I think everyone knows that and sees that, the problem is that there's nothing really on the market to buy, we don't want to rush out and spend the money,” Gould added.

Canterbury have signed Josh Curran, Poasa Faamausili and Jake Turpin to their forward pack for 2024, as well as utility options Drew Hutchison, Kurt Mann and Jaeman Salmon, while backs Stephen Crichton, Blake Taaffe and Bronson Xerri will also join Cameron Ciraldo's side.

1 COMMENT

  1. At 32, Taukeiaho would have to be cheap to run the risk of hiring him.

    If I were Cameron Ciraldo looking at a prop for 2025, I would looking at Toby Rudolph or Braden Hamelin-Uele from the Sharks, both off contract at the end of 2024.

    Or take a punt now and approach Craig Fitzgibbon and see if he would be prepared to release one of them for the coming season. Nothing to lose – the worst he can do is say “No”.

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