Tony Williams could be a shock inclusion for Canterbury in Monday afternoon’s NRL clash with St George Illawarra.
Bulldogs interchange backrower Adam Elliott injured his hamstring at training on Thursday, opening the door for a possible return for Williams.
The former Australia and NSW second-rower hasn’t played NRL since round nine, when he was dropped by coach Bulldogs coach Des Hasler after a number of underwhelming performances.
He then had one solid performance for Canterbury’s reserve grade side, before he too injured his hamstring at training last month.
Williams was due to return this weekend in NSW Cup, however the injury to Elliott now has his teammates backing the off-contract backrower’s elevation to the first grade side.
“We all know how Tony can play, he’d obviously be the first to admit that he’s been struggling with a bit of form,” forward Aiden Tolman said.
“But if he just gets back to running that ball hard and playing the way we know here he can when he is playing his best footy I’m sure he’ll be back in the side.”
Williams was rumoured to be shopped around to a number of clubs, including his former club Manly, but fellow-backrower Josh Jackson insisted he had maintained a positive attitude throughout.
“His attitude is good and he’s a quality player. He’s got a lot of experience too so if he gets a nod this week he’ll definitely do his job,” Jackson said.
Elliott was seen limping at the Bulldogs’ base of Belmore on Friday and faced scans later in the day, with any lingering injury a bitter blow to the 21-year-old in his rookie year.
The youngster, who has played seven NRL games since debuting against Manly in the opening round, has seen his game time increase in recent weeks.
“Hopefully he can play,” Jackson said.
“He’s a great young player and brings a lot of enthusiasm into our side.”