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Position in focus: Hooker

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 2020.

The two players Pay has available to wear the number nine jersey are Jeremy Marshall-King and Sione Katoa.

Marshall-King played 23 NRL matches in 2019 with 17 of those spent starting in the number nine position. The 24-year old impressed with his service from dummy half and his strong running game. He averaged 61 minutes and 36 tackles per game, as well as a 90.5% tackle efficiency. Since making his NRL debut in 2017, Jeremy has played 46 games across two seasons with the Bulldogs and in 2019 he claimed the Coaches Award at the club’s Presentation Night. His impressive year at Belmore saw him represent New Zealand at the inaugural World Nines, as well as re-sign with the club until the end of the 2021 season.

Jeremy Marshall-King
Jeremy Marshall-King

Katoa arrives at Belmore from the Penrith Panthers on a two-year contract. The Tongan International made his NRL debut for the Panthers in 2015 and has played 47 games across four seasons. In 2019, he spent seven games starting in the number nine position and averaged 40 minutes from 14 appearances. The 24-year old featured in Tonga’s two Test matches at season’s end, including the memorable victory over the Kangaroos in Auckland. The former junior Kiwi will complement the Bulldogs forward pack in 2020.

Sione Katoa
Sione Katoa