Bulldogs sign Bronson Xerri despite his drugs ban not expiring until November 2023

Canterbury Bulldogs have confirmed that they’re issuing a contract to Bronson Xerri for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

Xerri, 23, has only played one season in the NRL as an 18-year-old for Cronulla Sharks in 2019, when he scored 13 tries in 22 games, becoming one of the hottest prospects in the game.

However, he was issued with a four-year ban from the sport in November 2019 after testing positive for a number of banned substances, one of which was testosterone.

Bronson’s ban doesn’t expire until November 2023, but that hasn’t stopped the Bulldogs signing the Sydney-born centre who will be looking to make up for lost time after breaking onto the NRL scene three years ago.

A statement by the club reads: “The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs would like to confirm the club has issued a playing contract to Bronson Xerri for the 2024 and 2025 NRL Season.

“The club is continuing to work with the NRL Integrity Unit to ensure full compliance is undertaken, before Bronson is able to return to the sport in November 2023.”

At the time of his ban in 2019, Xerri received a huge backlash from media and fans when the news of his failed test was made public.

The then 19-year-old, who seemingly had the world at his feet in the NRL, addressed his “haters” and vowed to come back stronger.

For all you haters calling me a drug cheat, you all have no clue how much I put in the work to be where I was,” he declared. “To my loyal family and friends, words can’t express how much you all mean to me. The comeback is on, 2024.”

Xerri will work under some experienced heads at Belmore, including former England captain James Graham who is in charge of helping develop the younger players at the club alongside head coach Cameron Ciraldo.

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