https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/s...s/news-story/38372ca69e3d6b33f1d13113ce1a23d6Any have more info on the dogs signing some players from England?
Just over a week after four Englishmen almost a secured a premiership miracle for Canberra, Bulldogs chief executive Andrew Hill has secretly flown to Britain to start top-level negotiations with two star Super League front-rowers.
Hill is in St Helens, who beat Salford in last weekend’s Super League grand final, to speak with props Luke Thompson and Alex Walmsley.
Walmsley, 29, and Thompson, 24, have played for England and will represent Great Britain in the four southern hemisphere Tests against New Zealand, Tonga and PNG, which start this month.
Hill’s move continues a new trend of clubs nailing down their playing rosters up to three years in advance.
Thompson and Walmsley are under contract at St Helens for next season so could only shift to the NRL in 2021 at the earliest.
Canberra have enjoyed amazing success since coach Ricky Stuart and chief executive Don Furner starting targeting Super League players two years ago.
Bulldogs management wouldn’t confirm Hill was overseas but he was spotted in Merseyside on Tuesday.
Canterbury stalwart Aiden Tolman is off contract at Belmore after next season and fellow prop Dylan Napa a year later.
Alex Walmsley‘s sheer size could make him an NRL hit. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Walmsley and Thompson performed brilliantly in the Super League grand final to set up Saints’ 23-6 win at Old Trafford.
Hill, who is due back in Australia on Thursday, could not be contacted in England but around six NRL cubs have shown some interest in Thompson, who is regarded as the best young front-rower in England.
It is unknown whether Hill would target one or both St Helens props.
Having made his Super League debut in 2013, Walmsley is 196cm tall and weighs 115kg — a physical monster.
Walmsley made his Super League debut in 2013 when Australian coach Nathan Brown was in charge at St Helens. He helped Saints to a title the following year.
Joe Stimson will be at Belmore in 2020. Photo: Kelly Defina/Getty Images
Two years ago, Walmsley showed interest in a move to Australia when he said: “As a player, I want to play with the best and do the best I can. Whether that’s in Super League or elsewhere, that’s yet to be decided.”
Thompson was linked with South Sydney earlier this season.
One coach said all clubs were “going hard” for 2021, not next season.
“Everyone is talking about how active clubs are right now in recruitment for 2021,” he said. “We have only just finished the 2019 season.
“In the old days, you worried about now and next year. Now clubs are searching and signing players two, three, even four years in advance.”
Canterbury have signed Joe Stimson (Melbourne), Dean Britt (Souths) and Sione Katoa (Penrith) for next season.