Canterbury Bulldog’s David Fifita pursuit won’t impact on new deal for Josh Jackson


The Broncos and Fifita are hoping to avoid a heavy penalty from the NRL integrity unit for his Bali arrest.

Fifita and Jackson both play on the same edge – Jackson and even Fifita can also play as a lock forward – while Canterbury have also recruited Melbourne’s Joe Stimson and since had Corey Harawira-Naera force his way into the New Zealand Test team.

Canterbury have been linked to Latrell Mitchell and for a brief period the Trbojevic brothers, yet fans would be shattered if the club were to lose favourite son Jackson.

“We’ve had some good conversations with ‘Jacko’ and his management,” Hill told the Herald. “We don’t see Jacko playing for anyone else and it’s fair to say Jacko wants to be a one-club player. In the next few weeks we’ll tidy that up.

“It’s been a relaxed conversation with him and obviously our focus is on him getting back on the training field, but we certainly need to move on it soon.”

Jackson told the Herald at the end of last season: “I’d love to bring a premiership back to Canterbury and be a part of the future success.”

Hill said he was being guided by Fifita’s camp when it came to his next move, but that the club was in the market for ”quality players” like the Queensland representative.

“When a club frees up a few dollars like we have for 2021 we’ll be linked to everyone and we’ve already seen that,” Hill said.

“We’re certainly interested in quality players, and whenever a quality player comes on to the market we’ll sit down and consider if they’re the right fit for us.

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“We’re waiting to hear back from [Fifita’s] player manager as to what the next steps are. But it’s definitely not one or the other [between Fifita or Jackson]. We’re in deep negotiations with Jacko.”

Hill added he hoped to have an answer from England prop Luke Thompson and if he was keen to take the NRL plunge at their club from 2021.

Fellow Dogs forward Adam Elliott is another player off contract and said Jackson’s future would have an impact on any future decision he made, especially given the skipper and James Graham played a huge role in making sure Elliott ignored Parramatta’s advances the last time around.

“When it comes to my next contract it’s extremely important Jacko is here,” Elliott said. “We need to make sure we’re keeping people like him around.

“We’ve been through the ringer the last few years, it looks like we’re about to come out the other side and start to perform consistently as team, and having Jacko here will be a big part of that.

“If Jacko stays, it makes the Bulldogs [even] more attractive for me to stay as well.”

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