In just over two weeks from now, the Canterbury Bulldogs will begin their 2024 season as they look to finally reclaim a spot in the top-eight and once again play finals football.

Entering the season with an entirely different roster from the 2023 season, Cameron Ciraldo will have a tough decision to make as to who will help lead the team in attack, an area they struggled with last year.

Matt Burton will hold onto the number six jersey this season, but there has been much debate as to who will join him in the halves.

While Blake Taaffe, Connor Tracey, Jaeman Salmon, Jake Turpin and Kurt Mann could potentially play at halfback, two names have emerged as the front-runners - Drew Hutchison and Toby Sexton.

In their first trial game against the Melbourne Storm, Hutchison started in the halves, but Sexton also had substantial game time and was impressive in the position.

"Yeah, it is," Sexton toldĀ Zero TackleĀ when asked if the goal was to lock down a spot in the halves.

"The most crucial thing is just having a really good pre-season where I'm getting the good reps in.

"I'm developing both physically and mentally, and I'm putting myself in the best possible stage to be able to have a good 2024, and hopefully that's in the 17 as well."

NRL Pre-Season Challenge Rd 1 - Bulldogs v Storm
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 15: Drew Hutchison of the Bulldogs runs the ball during the NRL Pre-season challenge match between Canterbury Bulldogs and Melbourne Storm at Belmore Sports Ground on February 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

The former Titan believes that even though he has to contend with several players for a position in the team, it has created a healthy battle of competition that will only drive the club to more success.

The halfback jersey isn't the only one up for grabs with uncertainty surrounding the fullback position, who will be in the back-line and which individuals will be chosen to come off the interchange bench.

At this stage, the only players that have cemented their spot in the Round 1 line-up are representative stars Stephen Crichton, Josh Addo-Carr, Viliame Kikau and Matt Burton, hooker Reed Mahoney and future club captain Jacob Preston.

"Cameron's made it clear from day one of pre-season that no one's got their spot cemented here on the side, and every spot's up for grabs, and it only drives competition," Sexton added.

"It's created a really good environment within the side where every spot's up for grabs, and everyone's competing every day to kind of try and cement a spot.

"That way, we're going to have 30 first-graders, but you can only pick 17, which is definitely a good headache to have."