Canterbury-Bankstown should seriously consider a bid for departing Warriors’ play-maker Blake Green who, along with the signing of a “class” fullback, would make the Bulldogs a “hard team to beat”, says Eighth Immortal Andrew Johns.
New Zealand Warriors owner Mark Robinson recently announced that Green would lead an exodus of players managed by controversial NRL agent Isaac Moses after the sacking of coach Stephen Kearney.
The de-registered agent reportedly threatened the Warriors that he would remove the players he manages at the club if they didn’t re-sign Kearney, who is also one of his clients.
Green has been in solid form for the Warriors since the franchise committed themselves to remain in Australia since the COVID-19 enforced break in a bid to keep the NRL competition running.
Pulling the strings behind the Kiwis’ undeniable ability to cross the try-line, Green has the fortitude to become the cornerstone of any serious premiership contender providing he had the right people around him, said NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler.
“At the moment he’s doing a great job,” Fittler told Wide World of Sports’ Freddy and the Eighth.
“Personally I couldn’t think why you couldn’t put people around Blake Green and have him as the steady person in the team.
“I think at the moment he’s shown me enough that he could be that steady ship if you have someone around him.”
Green’s impending departure has raised a whole lot of interest, particularly among teams desperate to add to their play-making stocks.
Johns believed the Bulldogs were the perfect landing site for the five-eighth, allowing Green to partner Kieran Foran and revitalise a team desperate for consistency and leadership.
Coach Dean Pay has struggled to settle on a halves partner for star playmaker Foran, with repeated experiments with Jack Cogger, Lachlan Lewis and Brandon Wakeham failing to convince.
“Blake Green and Kieran Foran behind that forward pack, throw in another world-class fullback,” Johns told Wide World of Sports’ Freddy and the Eighth.
“With Blake Green there and Kieran Foran healthy and fit, they would be a hard team to beat.”
But who else would complete Johns’ puzzle at fullback?
Roosters favourite Joey Manu is on contract at the club until the end of 2022 on a $550k-a-year deal but will only ever be a centre or winger at the club due to James Tedesco’s presence.
He’s received resounding praise for his stint in the no.1 jersey while filling in for an injured Tedesco recently.
Johns had previously suggested that rival clubs would love to recruit Manu as fullback, claiming they could dangle a lofty price-tag around the $750k mark to have him play fullback, similar to former teammate Latrell Mitchell’s exit.
Anthony Milford could be another man for the Dogs to consider. The playmaker made his name as a fullback, and with the Broncos battling to find the right balance in their spine, if the Bulldogs made a genuine bid to lure Milford, Brisbane could just let him out of the deal.
Promising son of NRL icon Wendell Sailor, Tristan, could also be a youngster ready to don the blue and white – and at a fraction of the price. With little game time at the Dragons under his belt and a host of pundits forecasting big things in his future, a move to fullback could be the what kickstarts his career.
Given the torrid injury history of Foran, it would be also handy to have someone like Sailor at the club who could give them squad flexibility in key positions.