Chris Smith will make his NRL club debut for the Bulldogs on Thursday night when they host the Brisbane Broncos at ANZ Stadium.
Born in Darwin, Smith played his junior rugby league for the Nighcliff Dragons and arrived at Belmore only five weeks ago after moving from the Sydney Roosters where he spent two seasons.
The 24-year old has three NRL games under his belt having played one for the Penrith Panthers in 2015 and two for the Roosters over the past two seasons.
In recent weeks the back-rower has spent time with the Bulldogs' Intrust Super Premiership team, where he has impressed and following the suspension to David Klemmer, Smith has been rewarded for his form with a spot on Canterbury's interchange bench.
"It means a lot, especially because I only arrived at the club five weeks ago. Everyone has been welcoming and I'm just loving the vibe at the moment. I had the opportunity to come across and I have had some reserve grade games which has allowed me to get some minutes under my belt. The opportunity has come up now and I'm looking forward to getting out there," said Smith.
Smith scored an impressive try last weekend in the Bulldogs second grade win over the Warriors at Belmore Sports Ground and there's no one happier for the forward than coach Steve Georgallis.
"The players love playing with him. When things are down he seems to come up with the big play. I'm really happy for him," Georgallis added.
Match: Bulldogs v Broncos
Round 21 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium
- Nine Network
- Fox League
- LIVE PASS
Having only arrived before the June 30 deadline, Smith says coach Dean Pay will keep it simple for him in his first NRL game for the club.
"He's not going to make it too complicated. The biggest thing is to focus on defence and the attack will come off the back of that. I just want to get out there and rip in and hopefully get a few more games under my belt," added Smith.
Smith last stepped onto the NRL field back in round 12 of last season and his first challenge in the blue and whites will be up against a very mobile Broncos forward pack.
"The Broncos are a big pack and they have a lot of attacking weapons. I just want to do my job in the middle and be solid in defence," Smith said.
The inclusion of the former Australian schoolboy into Canterbury's seventeen will see Danny Fualalo shift to the starting line-up.