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Position in Focus: Prop

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 players Pay has available to line-up in the front row are Aiden Tolman, Dylan Napa, Renouf To’omaga, Sauaso Sue and Ofahiki Ogden.

Tolman made 23 appearances in the blue and white in 2019. He heads into his tenth season with the Bulldogs having been a warrior in terms of consistency throughout his time at Belmore. A leader on and off the field who leads by example, the prop forward finished the 2019 season with 870 tackles, 3053 running metres, 984.4 post contact metres and a 92.8% tackle efficiency rate from 23 appearances. The prop forward played his 250th NRL match in 2019 and he also became the 12th player in Canterbury's history to play 200 or more first grade games for the club.

Napa played 20 matches for the Bulldogs in his opening season and represented Queensland throughout the 2019 State of Origin series. The hard running forward made 483 tackles, averaged 130.9 running metres per match, as well as 823.8 post contact metres. He scored two tries and averaged 48 minutes per game. The 2020 season will see Dylan play his 150th NRL match.

To’omaga found a regular spot in the Bulldogs starting seventeen at the end of the 2019 season, playing in the final nine matches of the campaign. The exciting 24 year-old has made his reputation as a hard running ball-player, who provided plenty of impact from the interchange bench. He averaged 69 metres per game, 23 minutes and a total of 232.9 post contact metres. The prop forward made 10 appearances for the Canterbury Cup side as well, scoring four tries, averaging 133 metres per game and a 90% tackle efficiency. He capped off his season with a contract extension keeping him at Belmore until the end of the 2021 season.

Sue made 11 appearances for the Bulldogs in his first season at Belmore, but unfortunately the forward's first year was cut short due to a torn ACL. The Samoan international  averaged 75.6 running metres per match with a 90.6% tackle efficiency rating, as well as 10 tackle breaks and 258.8 post contact metres. He is progressing well after an ACL injury and will look to join the main squad towards the end of January.

Ogden made 13 NRL appearances in 2019, scoring a try against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Good Friday. The hard running prop averaged 76 running metres, 30 minutes and a tackle efficiency rate of 90.6% from his second NRL season at Belmore. He also played 12 games for the Canterbury Cup side, averaging 121 running metres, 23 tackles, 49 minutes and 17 tackle breaks. The 23-year old is contracted to the club until the end of 2021.