Chance to grow: Dylan Napa craves bigger role at Bulldogs


Former Roosters prop Dylan Napa hopes his move from a stacked Roosters pack to a younger and developing one at Belmore will provide him with greater opportunity than if he had stayed at Bondi.

Napa was unveiled as a replacement for Knights-bound prop David Klemmer on Monday and rocked up for his first training session under Dean Pay on Wednesday, fronting media just three hours after starting his first day in blue and white.

Napa said while it was tough leaving the premiers with a year to run on his deal, and admitted to some reservations joining a club that was in the wooden spoon race in 2018, he would relish any increase in responsibility.

"I spoke to the coach, there was a better chance to play a bit more football here, whether it be in the 80 minutes or over the three-year span," said Napa, whose future beyond 2019 could not be Roosters guaranteed he stayed.

"It was an easy decision in the end. Speaking with Josh Jackson and the squad, I'm excited to be here.

"Dean Pay did not want me to be anyone else, he did not want me to play like David (Klemmer), he just wanted me to come and play like Dylan Napa.

"They came up with me and I was happy to sit down, I still had one year at Roosters and we just got the comp so it was a big decision I had to weigh up my options and I felt like this was the best option .

"It was really hard but not everything went to plan in life and I felt like this was the best option out of all the options I had."

Napa averaged only 41 minutes on field in 2018, including just 29 minutes off the bench in the grand finals win just returned from a three-game suspension, jostling with the likes of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Siosiua Taukeiaho, Isaac Liu, Ryan Matterson and Victor Radley for minutes in the middle.

It represented a serious drop in its playing time from 57 minutes in 2016 and 47 in 2017. It was the lowest average average in a season of the Maroons prop career.

"Obviously there will be a bit more weight on shoulders that I'm happy to have," he adds.

Canterbury prop Dylan Napa.
Canterbury prop Dylan Napa.
© Gregg Porteous / NRL Photos

"You could say that [Trent Robinson gave his blessing for me to leave]. By the end of the year I did not get too many minutes.

"I felt like this is where I could expand my game and grow as a player. I wish nothing but the best for the Roosters and my old teammates but hopefully they did not hit us!

"I have not really talked too much strategies and how I'm going to approach the year for myself but maybe [I can get more minutes]. Hopefully. Whatever's best for the team and can help us succeed.

"The better games I have the better for the team, I will assess what's best for myself and the team and go from there."

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