Lafai leads NRL Bulldogs re-signings

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Canterbury have notched up the first in a string of expected re-signings with centre Tim Lafai committing to the NRL club for a further three years.

Lafai’s deal will keep him at the club until the end of the 2017 season.

The announcement on Friday ahead of the Bulldogs’ first game of the season against Brisbane comes on the back of coach Des Hasler last month re-signing with Canterbury until the end of 2017.

In confirming Lafai’s new deal, Dogs chief executive Raelene Castle indicated it would be the first in a number of re-signing announcements.

Captain Michael Ennis, prop James Graham and centre Josh Morris are all reported to be close to agreeing on new deals to stay at Belmore.

Graham has been linked to South Sydney with Sam Burgess to defect to rugby union at season’s end, while Morris has been linked to a return to St George Illawarra to reunite with his brother Brett.

“More exciting announcements to come in the coming weeks …” Castle tweeted on Friday.

Ennis told AAP at last month’s Auckland Nines that he was keen to play out his career at Belmore.

“We are having some conversations about a new deal and I’m hopeful that will result in something all parties can agree on,” Ennis said.

“I love it at the Dogs and really would like to stay.”

Castle said the retention of Lafai, who is out injured with a broken hand, was an important one.

“He played consistent football in 2013 and this new contract gives him confidence that we believe he will deliver on his potential,” she said in a statement.

Hasler also spoke tellingly of the 22-year-old’s re-signing.

“Tim is someone that has come through the Bulldogs system and, after a promising start to his NRL career, we’re hopeful that he continues to perform consistently in the future,” Hasler said.

© AAP 2014
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