Bulldog Lafai keen on Barrett NRL rebuild

Less than two weeks after moving from St George Illawarra to Canterbury, centre Tim Lafai will line up for the Bulldogs' NRL clash with Parramatta.

TIM LAFAI.
TIM LAFAI. Picture: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Canterbury pick-up Tim Lafai hopes to turn his mid-season reunion with the NRL club into a permanent stay under incoming coach Trent Barrett.

Less than two weeks after signing from St George Illawarra, Lafai will line up for the Bulldogs in Sunday's clash with Parramatta.

It will be his first match for the club since the last of his 74 appearances in the blue-and-white over five years ending in 2015, before joining the Dragons.

Lafai played the opening two games of this season before its COVID-19 shutdown, but fell out of favour and hadn't been sighted since.

"With no (NSW) Cup games going on, it was about finding a place for myself to get some game time for the rest of the year," Lafai said on Wednesday.

"At the Dragons, in the centres and outside backs they got there have been playing good. So when the opportunity came here, I was fortunate to have it."

Only signed for the rest of the year, Lafai is one of a number of off-contract Bulldogs determined to impress Barrett.

Forward Adam Elliott has reportedly drawn interest from the Warriors, while injury-plagued playmaker Kieran Foran's contract also expires at season's end.

Young outside backs Jake Averillo and Reimis Smith are signed until the end of next year, while Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is locked in until the end of 2022.

NSW State of Origin star Nick Cotric will also arrive next season.

"It's definitely at the back of my mind, just like the rest of the players here. We want to finish off the year strong and with some wins," Lafai said.

"It's about doing my job and going out there and give 100 per cent of my effort week in, week out and cementing my spot in the centres there."

Bulldogs skipper Josh Jackson hopes to retain the injured Elliott.

"(I've) been playing with him for a while now and I've seen how hard he's worked to get himself into a position where he's playing some fantastic footy," he said.

"He was probably our best performer at the start of the year and I was shattered for him when he obviously when down with his shoulder injury.

"He's got a young family to think about now and he'll make that decision in time, what he thinks is best for him and his family going forward.

"It'd be great if he could stay a part of what we've got here."