Pritchard signed, Bulldogs eye Eastwood - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pritchard signed, Bulldogs eye Eastwood

By Steve Jancetic 25/08/2010 07:03:25 PM Comments (0)

Canterbury boss Todd Greenberg says the prize signature of rampaging Penrith backrower Frank Pritchard won't scuttle plans to bring fellow Kiwi international Greg Eastwood back to the NRL club.

The Bulldogs' impressive recruitment drive continued on Wednesday with Pritchard agreeing to a three-year deal starting next season - the backrow enforcer joining Aiden Tolman, Trent Hodkinson and Kris Keating in heading to Belmore in 2011.

And they could yet be joined by Eastwood, with the club to recommence negotiations with Super League side Leeds about a release next week after talks were put on hold ahead of the Rhinos' participation in this weekend's Challenge.

Leeds are seeking a STG100,000 transfer fee to let go of Eastwood just one year into a three-year deal with the Rhinos.

Asked were the club still keen on Eastwood, who has expressed a desire to return to the Bulldogs, Greenberg said:

"Very much so.

"It comes down to the amount (of the transfer fee) because we're not going to be writing a blank cheque, but we're happy to negotiate on a number."

Even without Eastwood, the arrival of Pritchard gives the Bulldogs pack an imposing look, while it will also free NSW representative Jamal Idris to return to the centres.

"We've been very aggressive but also judicious in what we've gone after," Greenberg said of the recruitment drive.

It was widely assumed Pritchard would re-sign with the Panthers, after the club made him their priority target after holding onto star centre Michael Jennings.

But protracted negotiations opened the door to other clubs, while there was even reports new Super 15 rugby union franchise Melbourne Rebels were in the running for the wide-running forward.

"Frank has got size, he's got speed, he's got strength and is a player that has a great impact on games," Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore said.

"We're thrilled that we'll be able to welcome him to the Bulldogs next year.

"In the past couple of seasons we've lost several of our senior players and I'm expecting Frank will step up to take a leadership role within our team."

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