The massive suspension handed to Bulldogs back-rower Corey Waddell has had a silver lining of sorts, with the club handing an NRL debut to another young talent.

21-year-old prop Harrison Edwards will become Bulldogs player #835. He’ll make his NRL debut after Waddell was rubbed out for five games following an alleged eye gouge on Tino Fa’asuamaleaui during the Belmore club’s win over the Titans.The young prop has been instrumental to the club’s NSW Cup success so far this year. The team are currently in third place, just three points behind the Newtown Jets.

Edwards has largely been used as an impact player, starting all but four games this year from the bench and offering a timely boost in a role similar to the one he’ll likely be tasked with on Sunday afternoon in Newcastle.

Edwards will also add depth to the squad following Raymond Faitala-Mariner’s return to the injury ward. Luke Thompson is also still unavailable.

The game will also serve as a milestone occasion for prop Paul Vaughan, who’ll make his 200th NRL appearance just weeks before departing the club for English Super League side Warrington.

NRL Rd 4 - Storm v Bulldogs
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 03: Paul Vaughan of the Bulldogs looks on during the round four NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Canterbury Bulldogs at AAMI Park on April 03, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

He’ll link up with former Bulldog Matt Dufty, who was granted an immediate release by the club earlier in the week so that he could also head to the Super League.

The Bulldogs have built a four-point buffer on last place after a disappointing start to the year and have drawn praise for their form reversal under Mick Potter.

The club has featured heavily in the news this week with reports that highly-respected Panthers assistant Cameron Ciraldo could be on his way to the club as head coach for next season.

The club was also forced to block a move from the Melbourne Storm to try and bring back flying winger Josh Addo-Carr for the rest of the season. The Foxx has been in rampant form lately, with eight tries in his last six games.

The Bulldogs kick off their important Round 20 clash at Newcastle on Sunday at 2pm.