Bulldogs snare NZ prop Greg Eastwood - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs snare NZ prop Greg Eastwood

18/03/2009 07:43:14 PM Comments (0)

Kiwi international Greg Eastwood remains hopeful of securing a move to England despite signing a three-year NRL deal with the Bulldogs on Wednesday.

The former Brisbane forward joined the Bulldogs after a planned switch to English Super League team Leeds was scuppered when he was denied a work permit because he'd lost his driving licence for a series of speeding fines.

He was one of several NRL players who had plans to head to England stymied by a crackdown on entry requirements.

But he secured an option to leave the Bulldogs after the current NRL season if an appeal on the English work permit decision is successful.

"It was a big disappointment but I'm just trying to keep my head up and the Bulldogs have given me a contract and I'm really happy for that," said Eastwood, who helped the Kiwis to the World Cup title last year.

"Leeds are pretty keen to have me there and if the appeal goes through the Bulldogs are going to release me after the year. I'm pretty happy with that.

"Bluey's (Leeds coach Brian McClennan) been calling me nearly every day. I've got a good relationship with him and I'll just play out the season and see how it goes."

Several NRL clubs were rumoured to be interested in signing Eastwood, but the Bulldogs' offer of a three-year deal with an option to leave at the end after the 2009 season should his English switch become a possibility won him over.

It means the 22-year-old joins former Brisbane teammates Mick Ennis, Ben Hannant and David Stagg at the Bulldogs, something he was excited about.

"It made my decision a bit easier with Benny, Staggy and Mick here," he said.

"I played well with Micky at the Broncs and know his game a bit so it's good."

Eastwood has spent his four months without a club training by himself on the Gold Coast, and said he was relieved to be back within a team atmosphere once more.

"(It's a) weight off my shoulders, I know what I'm doing now so I can start going forward," he said.

"(You) get a lot of frustration just sitting around waiting for an answer.

"I just talked to the manager who said if it's going to take a while I might as well just ask an NRL club if they'll take me for a year.

"It was good fun. Just to be back to a routine of training and eating well. It's good to be part of a team again and part of the culture."

The versatile lock has long had problems with his weight and eating habits but said he was ready to play against Penrith on the weekend if coach Kevin Moore needs him.

"I've never been ready for 80 minutes," Eastwood joked when asked if he could play a whole match.

"It's up to the coach what they want to do and I'm ready if they're pretty happy with me.

"It's always difficult to say, but he Moore) has had a bit of a talk to me, if I'm ready, and I said `yeah, I've had a good beep test and I'm pretty fit', so we're just going to have to wait and see."

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