Brett Morris says there’s no excuse for Canterbury to finish outside the NRL top four following the arrival of Will Hopoate.
The addition of the NSW State of Origin back means coach Des Hasler will have a stellar backline stacked with representative stars at his disposal.
Morris, his twin brother Josh and Hopoate were all a part of Laurie Daley’s NSW three-quarter line last year.
Winger Sam Perrett has made 19 appearances for New Zealand, the last of which was in 2013, while Curtis Rona was set to debut for the Kiwis on their recent tour of England but pulled out due to the birth of his first child.
Even with the departure of NSW playmaker Trent Hodkinson, they still boast a formidable halves pairing.
Josh Reynolds was dropped from the NSW side this year despite helping the Blues to their drought-breaking series in 2014 while Moses Mbye has been earmarked as a future Queensland star.
The Bulldogs finished one win outside the top four before being knocked out in the second week of the semi-finals and Morris says everyone at Belmore is eyeing an improved finish next year.
“I certainly think we have a side that should be a top-four side,” Morris said.
“Come finals time we know how important it is to be up the top end of the ladder and that’s certainly our goal – to finish as high as we can.”
Morris also said he would be willing to move to fullback to accommodate Hopoate.
He made a successful move to No.1 last season after shifting from St George Illawarra to Belmore however he revealed his time at the back could be short-lived.
It’s been suggested that Hopoate could be played at fullback, a shuffle that would see Brett move outside his twin brother and centre Josh, who have been paired alongside each other at Origin level.
Morris said he believed fullback was his best position but he was willing to shift for the good of the side.
“This year I played fullback and I really enjoyed it. I’ll just be open to whatever Des thinks,” Morris said.
“If he thinks the best thing will be for me to go back to the wing, so be it.
“I’m one of those guys who always does the best thing for the team.
“I really enjoyed my time at fullback last year and we’ll just have to wait and see.”