Ciraldo set to spring fullback selection shock to open Bulldogs’ season


Part of his appeal is his ability to play multiple positions from the back line to the halves.

Perham has only started one NRL game at fullback. That was in the final round of the 2021 season against Ciraldo’s Panthers – a match in which Eels coach Brad Arthur rested a host of big-name players before the finals series.

The Parramatta recruit has impressed over the preseason.Credit:Bulldogs Media

Perham used to live with new Wests Tigers back-rower Isaiah Papalii. The Tigers tried to lure Perham to Concord in a move to try to appease his roommate who was having second thoughts about leaving Parramatta.

Perham instead chose to link with the Bulldogs where he has now earned a shot at the No.1 jersey, a position the Tigers have covered with Daine Laurie and Charlie Staines both at the club.

The Tigers, though, have secured the services of former Bulldogs player Brandon Wakeham as a back-up half option.

Perham’s likely selection at No.1 means Averillo is expected to contest for a centre position alongside boom rookie Paul Alamoti, while Jacob Kiraz and Jayden Okunbor will likely battle out for the right to partner Josh Addo-Carr on the wing.

The Bulldogs also have a number of other key decisions to make leading into their first game of the season against Manly at Brookvale Oval on March 4.

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Ciraldo is yet to decide on a captain to replace recently retired back-rower Josh Jackson. Addo-Carr is believed to be one of the leading candidates.

The Bulldogs also have decisions to make on their final spots in the top 30 with Josh Reynolds, who is on a train-and-trial contract, pushing for a regular spot in the squad.

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