SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES - MAY 27: Aaron Woods of the Bulldogs watches on during the round 12 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on May 27, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Knights coach Nathan Brown says the the team is looking to bolster its lineup for 2019, with a firm eye on Bulldogs prop Aaron Woods.

Speculation is building that Woods' exit from Canterbury is imminent, following the club's salary cap clog due to a a series of back-loaded contracts.

Several clubs have already expressed interest in the 27-year old, including Newcastle, while it is understood that his wish is to return to his former club the Wests Tigers.

The Knights, who are looking to add an experienced front-rower, have already signed Storm Prop Tim Glasby for next season, but are still "looking to bring another five or six players in."

“Any time we sign someone, they’ve got to be a fair bit better than what we’ve got,” Brown told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“I think we’d all agree that Aaron Woods is a player who certainly would improve our squad. Whether he’s a player who’d be interested, or whether we’re interested, or whether Canterbury would let him go, they’re all questions that need answering.”

“When you lose a few quality players – we did come into the year with a skinny squad – it probably highlights some areas which our recruitment suggests we need to improve in,” Brown said.

“In the middle part of the field and the outside backs are areas that we need to strengthen a little bit.

“We’re putting things in place to hopefully do that, so this time next year we’re in a far stronger situation so that when we lose a couple of forwards and a couple of backs it doesn’t have such an effect on the squad.”

Brown says the Knights are always looking at ways to improve their side and had holes to fill ahead of this season.

“Any time there are front-rowers on the market, we’re always discussing that,” Brown said. “We’ve haven’t spoken to Aaron Woods or his manager …

“We’re in a strong position should someone like Woodsy become available and we thought it was a part of the plan and he wanted to come. I’m not sure how much truth is in any of it. I’m not sure what the story is with Canterbury, or whether he is a movable piece.”

Newcastle are looking to capitalise on the Bulldogs' dire salary cap situation, who may be forced to move on key players such as Woods to ease their financial woes.

“We’ve been on the other end of it for a few years and it’s not the best thing to do, to be paying wages to players who are not at your club,” Brown said.

“Sometimes you’re forced to do it. No one likes to do it, but Canterbury is obviously in a bit of a unique situation at the moment we’re they’re probably looking to clear some decks and make a few sacrifices to have a good long-term plan in place.”

 

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