2016 finish: Finals week one
The coach says: With no fewer than 10 Holden Cup graduates stepping up, the Bulldogs will field a very young team. But new coach Steve Georgallis doesn’t see it as a weakness. “It takes a while for them to get going and to form combinations with the old heads but they’ve played in a pretty talented 20s competition, so it’s just that next step up,’ he says. “The big difference is the physicality – you’re playing against a lot of players that are in the top 25 of first grade and have played a bit of NRL. So it’s a challenge but it’s also a really good opportunity to show what they’ve got.”
Player to watch: As the nephew of RLW Immortal Wally “The King” Lewis, fiveeighth Lachlan Lewis is a league blue-blood. Playing in the under-20s over the last couple of years, he’s shown some of his uncle’s class and competitive instinct, and the Bulldogs were over the moon when the Raiders released him early in 2016 because of their glut of playmaking options. “We’ve got high hopes for the kid,” Georgallis says. “I didn’t get to watch too many of the Bulldogs’ 20s games last year but I spoke with [former Bulldogs NSW Cup coach] Andy Patmore and he told me Lachlan is certainly one to look out for.” Lewis has played for Queensland in both under-16s and under-18s and he’s been training strongly with the Dogs’ top squad this pre-season.
KEY GAINS: Zac Woolford, Josh Cleeland, Rhyse Martin, Brenko Lee, Richard Kennar, Tom Carr
KEY LOSSES: Dane Chisholm, Lloyd Perrett, Reubenn Rennie, Jarrod McInally
RELATED TO ROYALTY The Dogs have high hopes for pivot Lachlan Lewis, and no wonder — he's King Wally’s nephew!