Brent Naden has ditched the Bulldogs, signed with Wests Tigers and been named to face Canterbury on Friday night.
The 26-year-old speedster was only eight NRL games into his two-year deal with the Bulldogs.
It’s a surprise twist in the Bulldogs’ nightmare week, which turned ugly when Trent Barrett resigned as coach on Sunday night.
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It appears that Naden walked out on the Bulldogs because he had signed with Canterbury to play under Barrett. Naden was at the Panthers when Barrett was an assistant coach at Penrith.
Naden’s move has heightened fears the club’s higher-profile recruits, such as Matt Burton, Viliame Kikau and Reed Mahoney, will backflip on their contracts.
Burton arrived at Canterbury with Naden following Penrith’s 2021 grand final triumph, and Kikau and Mahoney are contracted to the Bulldogs from 2023.
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The Bulldogs are yet to reveal their interim coach for the remainder of the season, but general manager of football Phil Gould told reporters on Monday that he’d make an internal appointment.
Tigers coach Michael Maguire named Naden in his extended squad for Friday night’s match, set to be played at Leichhardt Oval.
Naden made his NRL debut in round 12, 2019 and has played 45 matches with the Panthers and Bulldogs.
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