Koroisau is the experienced creative player Canterbury need. Photo: AAP Image/Darren Pateman
Koroisau is the experienced creative player Canterbury need. Photo: AAP Image/Darren Pateman

Dogs eye Manly star to lift their game

CANTERBURY have pinned a target on Manly hooker Api Koroisau as their priority signing for next season, just as Kieran Foran's injury curse hits another hurdle.

Despite having two years to run on his current deal at Manly, Koroisau has been given permission to negotiate with rival clubs following the emergence of young gun dummy-half Manase Fainu.

The Bulldogs see Koroisau as an ideal fit given he is regarded as one of the game's best dummy-halves and at 26 his best football years are still ahead of him despite his own injury setbacks this year.

Koroisau is currently sidelined with an ankle syndesmosis injury but he has been named on an extended bench this week.

It is understood Dean Pay is a huge fan of Koroisau's crafty dummy-half work, and Pay believes his experience would not only assist in the development of Jeremy Marshall-King but also significantly benefit the football of young halves Jack Cogger and Lachlan Lewis.

Marshall-King is one of those who could benefit from a mentor. Photo: Matt King/Getty Images
Marshall-King is one of those who could benefit from a mentor. Photo: Matt King/Getty Images

The Bulldogs have already made public their intentions to target some big-name recruits for the 2021 season but given Koroisau's immediate availability he has now gone straight to the top of their list.

The Bulldogs have really struggled to score points again this year and Koroisau is the type of player who could really spark them to life.

They are currently ranked 16th in the NRL with 228 points scored, by far the worst in the league with Gold Coast second last but scoring 296 points.

Meanwhile, Pay and the Canterbury players have been rallying around Foran this week after he suffered another injury setback.

Foran has now sustained a calf problem that is believed to be directly related to his ongoing hamstring issue.

It’s painful just to watch Foran sometimes. Photo: AAP Image/Steve Christo
It’s painful just to watch Foran sometimes. Photo: AAP Image/Steve Christo

There has been a lot of speculation that the Bulldogs would be keen to move Foran if a rival club showed interest.

But given his injury history and the big money he is currently on that is just not a realistic alternative.

While Foran has only played 10 games this year, Pay also understands what a fit Foran is still capable of and the coach has reassured Foran that he is wanted at the club.

Foran hasn't played more than 20 games in a season since 2014.

He played 22 in 2014, 19 the following year, nine in 2016, 17 in 2017 and 12 last year.