Canterbury Bulldogs director of football Phil Gould has revealed Paul Alamoti could wind up playing five-eighth or lock in the coming years, while it was salary cap behind the loss of Jake Averillo.

Both rising stars at the Bulldogs, Alamoti and Averillo have been the starting centres throughout the first half of the 2023 season for the Belmore-based side, and, in a team who have struggled, have been among their better performers.

The local juniors will be split up in 2023 though, with Averillo confirming on Wednesday that he would shift to the Dolphins on a three-year contract starting next season.

In what is an exceptional signing for Wayne Bennett's expansion outfit, the shift to Queensland for Averillo was brought on by salary cap issues at the Bulldogs, who have already added the signatures of Stephen Crichton (who is likely to play fullback) and former Cronulla Shark Bronson Xerri for 2024.

"We love Jake and we would have loved to keep him at the Bulldogs. However, with our salary cap and roster management, we have priorities in other areas at this particular point in time," Gould wrote.

"Sometimes these tough decisions have to be made in the best long term interests of the club. This is always uppermost in our minds. It's sad to lose players, but Jake has acquired a great deal at the Dolphins which gives him a great start in life. I'm happy for Jake."

The Bulldogs will now turn their attention to Paul Alamoti, who is also off-contract at the end of the year.

The loss of Averillo may allow the club to keep their other local junior, although it has been heavily reported that the North Queensland Cowboys will come in with a big deal for the talented centre.

The Cowboys are desperate for an injection of youth into their backline, and for a centre to replace the departing Peta Hiku, who heads to the English Super League at season's end.

Despite that, Gould hinted through his Twitter that Alamoti could move closer to the football, having played a majority of his junior football there.

Alamoti is already an under-19 NSW representative, having played for his state last year, but no timeline has been set on when he may make a decision over his future.