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Breaking down your Bulldogs 2020 NRL Nines squad

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs NRL Nines squad has been confirmed with a host of rookies joining Internationals, regular first graders and a retired legend in Perth this weekend for the two-day tournament.

The 18 players listed below will wear the blue and white jersey for the first time in 2020.

Corey Harawira-Naera will captain the side at the Nines with the back-rower impressing in his first season at Belmore, with 5 tries, 7 line breaks, 59 offloads, 673 tackles and 79.5 running metres per game. He also made his Test debut for New Zealand and was a member of the Kiwis World Nines team.

Brandon Wakeham, a local junior from Chester Hill, signed a two-year contract extension at the beginning of the 2018 season, keeping him at the Bulldogs until the end of 2020. The halfback made his NRL debut against the Sharks in 2019 and managed three games in his first season in the top squad.

Jake Averillo, a local junior from the Moorebank Rams club, has come through the Bulldogs system, being a star member of the club's SG Ball side in 2018, before moving on to the Jersey Flegg and Canterbury Cup sides last season. The talented outside back extended his contract with the club until the end of the 2021 season and is a player to watch out for in 2020. Averillo scored 6 tries from his 16 appearances in the under 20s last year, as well as making 57 tackle breaks and 5 line breaks.

Bailey Biondi-Odo joins the club from the Parramatta Eels. The talented half who hails from Innisfail played the full season with the Eels Jersey Flegg side as a 17-year old in 2019. He is a Queensland under 16s Indigenous representative and a goal kicker.

Isaiah Tass arrived at Belmore mid-way through the 2018 season from Cabramatta and finished the year with the Jersey Flegg side after making his debut in round 13. The 19-year old is a promising wing or centre who has featured in both the club’s Canterbury Cup and under 20’s sides throughout this season. He scored 12 tries from 19 Flegg fixtures last season, averaging 124 metres per game along with 57 tackle breaks and 16 line breaks.

Jayden Okunbor, a local junior from the Milperra Colts, Okunbor made his NRL debut for the Bulldogs in round three against the Wests Tigers in 2019. Standing at 196cm and weighing 108kg, the outside back played 10 games in his first season, scoring five tries and averaging 173.6 running metres per game.

Kerrod Holland made 14 appearances in 2019, with all of those spent in the centre position. Since making his debut for the club in 2016, the 27-year old has played 60 games for the club and has crossed the try-line on 18 occasions.

Jack Cogger made 17 appearances for the Bulldogs during the 2019 season, scoring three tries and averaging 255.7 kicking metres per game. The young half is the son of former Western Suburbs half back Trevor Cogger.

Toa Mata’afa impressed in his first season for the club’s Canterbury Cup side, scoring six tries from 17 appearances and averaging 130.7 running metres per game. He also came up with seven try assists and 36 tackle breaks during season 2019. Toa was a member of Samoa’s World Nines squad, as well as the Oceania Cup squad. A talented back who can play anywhere in the backline.

Chris Smith is a hard-running back rower who played 20 NRL games last year and was a real find in 2019. The 25-year old provided impact from the interchange and averaged 51.6 running metres and 22 tackles, as well as a tackle efficiency of 85.6%. 

Dean Britt joins the Bulldogs for the next two seasons from the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Dean is the son of former Bulldogs legend Darren Britt, who was a major part of the club's success in the 90's.

Joe Stimson joins the Bulldogs for the next three seasons from the Melbourne Storm, keeping him at Belmore until the end of the 2022 season. Stimson made his debut for the Melbourne Storm in 2017 and was a member of the Storm side that went down to the Roosters in the 2018 Grand Final.

Morgan Harper is a talented centre who became the 800th player to wear the blue and white when he made his NRL debut in the final round of the 2019 season against the Brisbane Broncos. He played 21 games for the club’s Canterbury Cup side last year, averaging 136 running metres per game, scoring 6 tries and producing 72 tackle breaks.

Andrew Ryan, a retired great of the club played 218 games for the Bulldogs, including captaining them in the 2004 Grand Final. The former back rower played for New South Wales in 12 State of Origin matches, in addition to representing Australia on eleven occasions, the man known as ‘Bobcat” has featured in the Canterbury’s Legends of League team over the past three seasons.

Kayne Kalache, a local junior from the St Johns Eagles club is a middle forward and has been part of the Bulldogs Junior Representative programs having played for the Harold Matthews, SG Ball and Jersey Flegg teams. Kalache played International Football this season having represented Lebanon against Fiji during the representative round, as well as at the inaugural World Nines.

Ofahiki Ogden a talented prop forward has played 22 games for the club since making his debut in 2018. He made 13 NRL appearances in 2019, scoring a try against the Rabbitohs on Good Friday. Ogden also played on 12 occasions for the club’s Canterbury Cup side averaging 121 metres per game along with 17 tackle breaks.

Nick Meaney played 22 games in his opening season for the club, scoring six tries, 61 tackle breaks and averaging 114.1 running metres per game. He spent the opening part of the season in the fullback position before he shifted to the wing for the second half of the year.

Ben Marshcke, a 22-year old dummy half is in his second year at the Bulldogs following an impressive season in 2019 with the Canterbury Cup team. A fit and highly skilled number nine with a good passing and tackling game, he played 14 games for the club’s reserve grade team last season and came up with 11 try assists, as well as 11 line-break assists and also has a twin brother at the club.