2019 Position Breakdown - The Back Row

Over the course of the pre-season bulldogs.com.au will analyse each position in the Bulldogs top 30 squad, along with the options Dean Pay has in 2019.

Today week we take a look at the lock and second row positions.

Josh Jackson:

Jackson was Mr Consistency throughout the 2018 season.

Taking on the captaincy for the first time, he led from the front in both his attitude to training and performances on the field.

Respected by his team mates and opponents alike, he continues to embody what it means to be a Bulldog.

Jackson finished the season with 3 tries, 16 offloads, 829 tackles, 2259 running metres and a tackle efficiency of 89.6% from 24 matches.

Adam Elliott:

Elliott is the ultimate competitor.

One of only three Bulldogs players that played every game for the club in 2018, he spent 17 of those in the number 13 jersey.

The hard-running forward from Tathra played his 50th NRL game for the club last season and scored four tries.

The 24-year old made 583 tackles, averaged 77.8 running metres and 44 minutes per game from his 24 appearances in 2018.

A player who wears his heart on his sleeve.

Corey Harawira-Naera:

Harawira-Naera arrived at Belmore from the Penrith Panthers on a four year contract until the end of 2022.

The talented 23-year old, who was born in New Zealand, made his NRL debut for the Panthers in 2017, scoring a try in his first match against Newcastle.

The Kiwi played 46 games, scoring 13 tries over the past two seasons and claimed Penrith's 2017 Rookie of the Year award along the way.

During 2018, he made 513 tackles, scored six tries, provided 22 offloads, 42 tackle breaks and had a tackle efficiency of 86.5%.

The addition of Corey to the squad will add both quality and strength to the club's forward pack for next season and beyond.

Raymond Faitala-Mariner:

2019 will be Faitala-Mariner's fourth season with the club and he extended his contract at the beginning of the 2018 season for a further year.

The back-rower managed 13 appearances in 2018 before suffering a PCL knee injury and a broken hand while playing for New Zealand in their defeat to England in the Denver Test. That injury ruled him out for the remainder of the season.

The hard-running 25-year old second rower started in all 13 matches and provided plenty of impact with his aggressive running style and ability to offload.

The Kiwi International provided 23 offloads, averaged 77.8 running metres and 26 tackles per game, came up with 39 tackle breaks and had a tackle efficiency of 90% last year.

Faitala-Mariner has made a successful recovery and has hit the ground running over the summer.

Rhyse Martin:

Martin was a real find in 2018 and played 14 NRL games for the club, including a memorable first touch on debut against the Brisbane Broncos where he scored a try and bagged a hat-trick against the Canberra Raiders at Belmore Sports Ground.

The goal-kicking back rower kicked 36 goals from 38 attempts last year at 94.7%, while also scoring four tries.

The 25-year old averaged 105.3 running metres and 32 tackles per game, as well as 26 tackle breaks and a tackle efficiency of 87.7% from his 14 appearances.

Martin also captained the Bulldogs Intrust Super Premiership team to their premiership win and National State Championship victory.

Chris Smith:

Born in Darwin, Smith played his junior rugby league for the Nightcliff Dragons and arrived at Belmore midway through the 2018 season after moving from the Sydney Roosters where he spent two seasons.

The hard-running backrower played only one NRL game last year against the Brisbane Broncos in round 21 and was a member of the club's successful Intrust Super Premiership team.

The 24-year old averaged 91.2 running metres and 31 tackles, as well as a tackle efficiency of 91.2% in the ISP in 2018.

Smith offers plenty of depth and competition as part of the club's backrow stocks.