Brent Naden will go from Canterbury training on Monday morning to facing the Bulldogs on Friday night as a mid-season NRL recruit for the Wests Tigers.
Tigers coach Michael Maguire confirmed on Thursday that Naden would play while insisting he is not considering a switch in the opposite direction to join Canterbury in 2023.
Instead, his focus remains solely on turning around the Tigers' tough start as they sit above only Canterbury on the ladder after 10 rounds.
And he is hoping Naden can be part of that.
The first man to exit Canterbury after Trent Barrett's resignation as coach, Naden' can give the Tigers some backline strike-power after he was named at No.21 on Tuesday.
"It was great for us," Maguire said.
"I met Brent some time ago and I have always kept an eye on his progress ... it just became an opportunity when he became available.
"Where we are at the moment we have been looking for someone with strike out wide.
"I went back and had a look at his highlight reel from when he was at Penrith and he is a very talented centre."
The Tigers have one more spot on their roster for 2022, but Maguire would not enter into speculation on whether fellow former Penrith and Bulldogs player Jack Hetherington would follow Naden across.
Maguire is off contract at the end of this year, and is far from assured of an extension at the Tigers after fighting to keep his job at the end of last season.
The Tigers are 2-8 and desperately need a win on Friday night, with Luke Brooks out for up to four weeks with a hamstring injury and Adam Doueihi also not due back until round 14.
But Maguire laughed off questions over whether he was eying off the Bulldogs job for next year.
"My name has been tossed up for many things across the past six or 12 months," Maguire said.
"It's the world of rugby league.
"But we've got a big game tomorrow night ... I'm real focused on the playing group that we have at the moment.
"I have really enjoyed the coaching with the attitude of the players.
"While we haven't managed to get the results we would have liked, the fight the players have shown for the jersey and everyone around the club (is commendable).
"The foundation is there for us to propel ourselves for where we want to get to."
Pressed further on whether he had spoken to his management since Barrett's exit, Maguire said he had not discussed the Canterbury situation.
"No, I've got my eyes on my players right now," he said.
"It's a really important game for us. I have seen a real change in this playing group in the way they are going about things.
"Everyone wants a result, but the way they are building the foundations of how we are playing."
Australian Associated Press
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