Lewis in golden opportunity for NRL deal

·2-min read

Lachlan Lewis has handed a two-week window to make a statement for his future as the off-contract Canterbury half gets a chance filling in for the injured Jake Averillo.

Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett confirmed on Wednesday that Averillo would miss up to two games with an ankle blow, ruling him out of the clash with South Sydney.

Averillo's absence has added to an injury and suspension crisis at the winless Bulldogs, who have just 20 players available for the Good Friday match.

But it created a perfect opportunity for Lewis.

The 24-year-old is unsigned beyond the end of this year and has not been seen in first grade since round 19 in 2020.

Matt Burton's impending arrival at the club has also made for an uncertain future for the nephew of legend Wally Lewis, after a highly touted rookie season in 2018.

"He's excited to get his chance and it is a big opportunity for him," Barrett said.

"He deserves his spot too, he's done really well for us back at Mounties, he won players' player last week.

"And to his credit and all the guys that have been back there at Mounties have done a really good job. He's attitude has been really good.

"I think he can do do a job for us, particularly when he's kicking. We've struggled a little bit in that department and a fair bit of pressure being on Kyle (Flanagan).

"Lachlan's got a big left foot so hopefully he can do a job for us."

Lewis is one of 16 Bulldogs unsigned beyond the end of this year, having last signed a one-year extension with the club at the end of 2019 for 2021.

The Bulldogs desperately need him to kick-start their attack.

They have not scored a point for 165 minutes, going back to the second half of their first-round loss to Newcastle.

Barrett has also made the call to switch Nick Meaney to the back and move Corey Allan to the wing, in a move he claims is as much about defence following their 24-0 fade-out to Brisbane.

"He's a good talker Nick Meaney," Barrett said.

"Corey has got a couple of things that I want him to work on particularly defensively and off the ball.

"I just think for our balance, our attack hasn't been functioning all year.

"We had some patches there at certain times against Newcastle but definitely the last two weeks I just think we needed to mix things up a little bit."