New-look Canterbury shaking up stereotypes

·2-min read

Canterbury fullback Dallin Watene-Zelezniak says stereotypes surrounding the club have to change if they want to make a push for the post season this year.

The Bulldogs scored the second-lowest tries and points in last year's competition and haven't played a finals series since 2016.

The Bulldogs talisman says a new coach in Trent Barrett, as well as new signings for the club, bodes well for the future but it starts with actions around the club first.

"I guess the stereotype around the club has to change and the predictions of where we're going to be and what's going to happen during the year, but I don't mind that," he said.

"Trent has really pushed team culture in training. Everything's high speed, everything's fast, everything's moving all the time and just his knowledge in attack, the things that he brings to our team through those areas has been second to none.

"I feel we're on the right track and I don't want to put too much pressure on any of the boys coming in.

"If everyone's doing their job and the team is working together then you can win any game, it's just being able to stick to that for 80 minutes."

The Bulldogs have brought in former Roosters halfback Kyle Flanagan, test centre Nick Cotric and former Panther and Warrior, Jack Hetherington.

On top of that, Josh Addo-Carr has inked a four-year deal with the club starting in 2022.

Dallin added mixing with the club's new players in preseason has been seamless.

"They're all really good fellas, I mean I get a long well with anybody, but with these guys in particular it's been good to get to know them and learn their strengths and weaknesses and I guess just have some more characters in the team.

"It's good to have them at the Bulldogs and I look forward to playing alongside them."

Watene-Zelezniak was made captain of the Maori All stars earlier this week, before a blockbuster showdown against the Indigenous All Stars on Saturday night.

He comes from a family of former captains with great grandfather Steve Watene, a former captain of the New Zealand rugby league team, being the first Maori to do so in 1936.

He says it's a great honour to don the jersey of his culture, but never saw himself as a captain before this.

"It is a lot of accountability on myself, so when I do and do say something, I know I have to follow it up.

"The more I learn of my great grandfather I wish that it was a goal of mine as a kid, but I've just been myself and it's just come.

"There aren't many opportunities to get to represent your Indigenous side and I know the boys will be at their best this weekend."