Bulldogs to try lure Brisbane hooker Jake Turpin to Belmore

Canterbury have confirmed they’ll attempt to lure highly promising hooker Jake Turpin from Red Hill to Belmore, but Brisbane say they’re up for the fight to retain the young gun.

The Broncos are facing a battle to retain Jake Turpin with the Bulldogs launching a poaching bid to bring Brisbane’s man-of-the-moment to Belmore.

Turpin will run out as Brisbane’s No.1 hooker against the Eels on Saturday night at Bankwest Stadium and just 20km from Parramatta’s home ground, the Bulldogs are hatching plans to lure the in-form hooker away from Red Hill.

We can reveal Canterbury are among four NRL rivals leading the charge to poach Turpin, who has become Brisbane’s find of the season.

The off-contract 22-year-old has produced such a stunning form burst this season he has gone from being outside Brisbane’s top 30 full-time squad to unseating Andrew McCullough as the Broncos’ pre-eminent hooker.

Now several NRL suitors, led by the Bulldogs, have arrived with big-money offers for a hooker who was earning around $70,000 last year.

The Broncos regard Turpin highly and will fight hard to keep him, but they will have to up the ante, with the Bulldogs on Friday night confirming their interest in the former Storm rake.

“We are interested in Jake, he certainly fits into what we are about,” said Canterbury director Chris Anderson.

Turpin has been exceptional since his promotion to the NRL.

The Bulldogs are so keen on Turpin they discussed trying to bring him to Belmore before June 30 this year, but the Broncos are not interested in releasing the tough-as-nails hooker.

“I don’t know if we can fit anyone into our squad before June 30, but we think Jake would be a good fit for the Bulldogs down the track,” Anderson said.

“I like what he’s about, he’s a good tough kid.

“He came through the Storm system … I don’t know why they would let him go.

“He has been outstanding for the Broncos and we think he could offer us something at hooker.”

The Wests Tigers are another club linked to Turpin, who has played six NRL games and four this season, impressing over the past month with his slick service and stinging front-on defence.

It is understood the Broncos have tabled a one-year deal for Turpin, but the Bulldogs are considering a two or three-year deal to get their man.

With McCullough turning 30 in January, Turpin represents the future for the Broncos and coach Anthony Seibold pledged to do everything possible to retain his durable dummy-half.

“Jake has been great for us, I certainly don’t want to lose him,” Seibold said.

“It doesn’t surprise me how tough he’s played or how competitive he’s been because that’s always been his nature.

“He’s taken the (Broncos) No.9 jersey with both hands and he’s kept it this week.

“I’m really confident in what he can do but I’m really happy and proud of how he’s developed into a player.”

Seibold confirmed Turpin wasn’t even in Brisbane’s full-time squad in pre-season.

“He was a development player, so we had to put him in our top 30,” he said.

“It’s a really good story and it probably shows a lot of players playing in the Intrust Super Cup that it’s never too late.

“We had to put him into our top 30 when a spot became available with Kodi Nikorima leaving (to the Warriors) and I think he’s done a really good job.”

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