Canterbury has appointed Trent Barrett as its head coach on a three-year deal beginning next season.
- Trent Barrett replaces Dean Pay, who departed the Bulldogs last week
- Barrett will continue working with the Panthers before taking up his role at the Bulldogs
- He was previously Manly head coach from 2016 to 2018
The announcement came only hours after the Bulldogs confirmed the signing of Canberra Raiders star Nick Cotric.
Barrett, who is currently working as an assistant coach at Penrith, will be the long-term replacement for Dean Pay, who parted ways with the club last week.
Pay departed the last-placed Bulldogs after managing just 19 wins from 57 matches in charge.
Barrett linked up with Penrith this season to work under head coach Ivan Cleary and has been largely credited with improving the Panthers’ attack, with the club leading the NRL ladder after 10 rounds.
He will continue working with the Panthers until the end of the season.
Barrett, who was previously head coach at Manly from 2016 to 2018, said he was relishing the challenge of helping reverse the Bulldogs’ fortunes from next season.
“The club has a long and proud history of success in rugby league and is a club founded on strong work ethics and family values,” he said in a Bulldogs statement.
Barrett ‘the right man’ for Bulldogs
Barrett, who represented Australia and New South Wales during his playing career, produced mixed results during his time with the Sea Eagles.
They made the finals in 2017 but finished in the bottom half of the ladder in his two other seasons in charge at Brookvale.
Barrett has been commended for his work so far at the Panthers, who have only lost one match so far this season.
“We have acted swiftly to secure the services of Trent because we believe he is the right man to take our club forward,” Bulldogs chief executive Andrew Hill said.
“Having spoken to Trent on a number of occasions we have been impressed with his vision for the future of our football team and how he will look to develop our players on and off the field.”
Barrett’s appointment comes during a busy week in NRL coaching news.
North Queensland premiership coach Paul Green departed the 12th-placed Cowboys on Monday, with Josh Hannay to take over the role for the remainder of the season.
Brisbane confirmed Anthony Seibold will remain as Broncos head coach until at least the end of the season, but his position will then come under review.
Cotric moves to Belmore
Barrett will be excited about working with Cotric from next season, with the Raiders outside back agreeing to a three-year contract with the Bulldogs.
Cotric made his Test debut for Australia last year and also appeared for New South Wales in the State of Origin series.
“Signing a player of Nick’s ability and class is a massive boost for our club moving forward and another step in strengthening our squad to lead us into the future,” Hill said.
Cotric, 21, has scored 37 tries in 80 matches for the Raiders and he played a key role in the club’s run to the grand final last year.