A deal between St George Illawarra and Canterbury could see unwanted Dragons fullback Matt Dufty head to Belmore, with Bulldogs counterpart Will Hopoate heading in the opposite direction.

As reported by The Sydney Morning Heraldthe two fullbacks could swap places as early as this season, with Dufty's spell at Kogarah set to come to and end at the conclusion of his 2021 campaign.

The Broncos and Raiders have been previously linked to the 25-year-old, with both clubs having gone cold in their pursuits across the past month.

NRL Rd 17 - Cowboys v Dragons
TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 06: Matt Dufty of the Dragons is tackled by Jake Clifford of the Cowboys during the round 17 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the St George Illawarra Dragons at QCB Stadium on September 06, 2020 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

It is understood that the Bulldogs have opened discussions with the Dragons about a potential swap deal, with Hopoate's name reportedly coming up in the negotiations.

The Bulldogs speedster is one of 15 players unsigned past this season, with Trent Barrett having expressed his interest in adding to his fullback stocks from outside the four walls of Belmore.

Having missed out on the signature of Nicho Hynes, the market for a high-profile No.1 has significantly dropped, but Dufty frames as the best option that is available to rival clubs.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Nicho Hynes of the Storm is tackled during the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla Sharks at AAMI Park on April 30, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Corey Allan was brought to the Bulldogs ahead of the 2021 season to be utilised at fullback, but was more recently named in the centres and in the wings before succumbing to injury in Round 9.

Barrett has already secured the signings of Josh Addo-Carr, Brent Naden and Matt Burton from next season, while the Bulldogs are understood to be leading the race for out-of-favour Broncos forward Tevita Pangai Junior.

Addo-Carr has previously flagged an interest to play in the No.1 jumper and could remain an option for the Bulldogs at fullback should an opportunity remain open.


  1. This article confuses me. Is the swap between Dufty & Hopoate or a Bulldogs speedster? Hopoate is one of the slowest players in the NRL (Luke Thompson & Jack Hetherington are faster).

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