Stimson keen to find NRL bark at Bulldogs

Joe Stimson has switched from Melbourne to Canterbury for the 2020 NRL season.
Joe Stimson has switched from Melbourne to Canterbury for the 2020 NRL season.

At some point, Joe Stimson wanted to show he is more than an average Joe.

It's why, when former NSW under-20s coach Dean Pay came calling about an opportunity at Canterbury, Stimson didn't hesitate about leaving Melbourne.

"I love the history of what the Bulldogs have, but it was the opportunity that they can give me," Stimson told AAP after his first month in Bulldogs colours.

"Down there I was behind a few people. There's a great forward pack down there.

"I'm not saying this isn't a great forward pack, but I reckon I could add something to this one. Just the opportunity to play a few more minutes.

"That's my goal this year. That, and to come out of my shell a bit."

It's why the 24-year-old isn't afraid to declare a desire to nail a second-row spot for round one, despite the club's growing depth in the position.

Skipper Josh Jackson and New Zealand international Corey Harawira-Naera played the bulk of the backrow minutes last season.

And the club also boast the likes of another Kiwi representative in Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Adam Elliott and another new face in Dean Britt.

But after being shuffled around at the Storm, Stimson wants to find a home.

"What I've talked to Dean about is just playing back row," he said.

"I haven't really played much middle. I've probably played more outways - so centre, five-eighth, but no way I'm a centre or five-eighth traditionally.

"I was a gap-filler. My dominant position is second row and I'd like to stay there."

Stimson is hoping his history with Pay will help his case.

The off-contract Bulldogs mentor selected the Temora product for their victorious under-20s State of Origin match against Queensland in 2015.

Pay deployed him in the back row.

"I didn't know Dean until that camp and I got along with him,' Stimson said.

"I really enjoyed the way he coached. So when he approached me to come here, I was confident that he could get the best out of me.

"He was a big reason why I signed here, to be honest.

"I like what he stands for in a player, and I think I've got those attributes that he does stand for, so I hope he does stay around."

Australian Associated Press