Two-time Clive Churchill Medalists and one of the best fullbacks of this generation, Billy Slater, has urged the Bulldogs not to play 2024 recruit Stephen Crichton at fullback.

In Cameron Ciraldo's first season as head coach the Bulldogs had a difficult year, however, they will go into next season with not only higher expectations but a different roster compared to their 2023 Top 30 roster.

While Bronson Xerri, Blake Taaffe and Jaeman Salmon have signed with the club for next year, the team's new arrivals will be headlined by dual premiership winner Stephen Crichton, who will re-join Ciraldo and former teammates Matt Burton and Viliame Kikau at Belmore.

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Signing a four-year deal with the Bulldogs, Crichton is set to become one of the team's marquee players. However, legendary representative fullback Billy Slater has urged Ciraldo not to move Crichton from the centres into the fullback role. A position that they have continually struggled to get right in recent years.

"I don't know if I'd move him to fullback when he goes to the Bulldogs. I think he's a quality centre," Slater told Nine's The Billy Slater Podcast.

"He's obviously getting some good ball in the Panthers' team as well."

The QLD Maroons coach also praised the NSW Blues outside back for his performances in both the NRL for the Penrith Panthers and in this year's Origin series for the NSW Blues against Queensland.

"I think Stephen Crichton is doing a great job in the centres, not just with his attack but he's making some really good decisions defensively," he added.

"He moves really well, he's very athletic."

NRL Rd 11 - Titans v Panthers
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 26: Stephen Crichton of the Panthers scores a try during the round 11 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Penrith Panthers at Cbus Super Stadium on July 26, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)


  1. I suspect it’s too late to give advice.
    The Dogs have signed him on FB money in the expectation he will play FB.

    If he turns out to be a poor FB, they can always relocate him, but there is no sense in being spooked by Billy Slater without any evidence from him.

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