NRL news, Bulldogs signings | John Asiata perfect fit for Canterbury, Andrew Johns says

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Rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns says North Queensland premiership forward John Asiata would be the perfect fit for the Bulldogs, as the back-rower searches for a new club.

The 27-year-old told the Cowboys last week that he would be leaving when his contract expires at the end of the season, and although his versatility means he can play a number of positions, he wants to move to a club where he can be a regular starter at lock.

With Jason Taumalolo seemingly having a mortgage on the Cowboys’ number 13 jumper, Asiata has been relegated to a bench position for much of 2020.

The Bulldogs, Parramatta and St George Illawarra are all believed to be in the running for Asiata’s signature, and Johns says there’s one club that stands out.

“Asiata plays that role of a ball-playing lock, like Victor Radley (and) Jake Trbojevic, who link the halves on either side,” he said on Immortal Behaviour.

“They’re the halfback in the middle, he’s an incredibly skilful player, I think he’d be suited at a club like the Bulldogs, who are going to have to develop some halfbacks moving forward.

“Kieran Foran is leaving, so I think he’d be a great fit for the Bulldogs.”

Asiata grew up in western Sydney, and played junior reps for both Parramatta and the Sydney Roosters, before moving to the Cowboys and making his first grade debut in 2014.

He played off the bench for the Cowboys in their 2015 grand final win over the Broncos.

Asiata has reportedly already held talks with incoming Canterbury coach Trent Barrett, who has a brief to rebuild the troubled club.

The Bulldogs haven’t made the finals since 2016, and with a clash with Penrith looming next week, it appears likely the Bulldogs will finish 2020 with just three wins from 20 matches.