Craig Bellamy: Kiwi Kasiano 'could become most damaging prop in the game'
Former Kiwi Sam Kasiano met with Craig Bellamy in Melbourne this week as the Canterbury prop edges closer to taking up a four-year deal with the Storm.
The Bulldogs are seeking to offload a host of players in order to create the salary cap space required to undergo an overhaul that includes the recruitment of Kieran Foran and Aaron Woods from next year. Canterbury breached the salary cap by $81,965 in 2016 and the NRL - taking into account that club powerbrokers self-reported - hit the club with a fine of $61,474, which is 75 per cent of breach amount.
The "family club'; is determined not to reoffend and is looking to offload a host of stars, including several contracted ones, to get under the limit. While they would like to keep Kasiano, he is on a heavily back-ended contract that expires next season and his departure would help to fund their aggressive recruitment strategy.
Canterbury have given Kasiano permission to speak to the Storm and the parties are hopeful of finalising the deal soon.
Kasiano spent time at Storm headquarters, meeting Bellamy and key staffers during a tour of the team's facilities. Bellamy has spoken publicly of his desire to add Kasiano to the roster and believes the New Zealand and Samoan international could become the most damaging prop in the game.
The 26-year-old is keen to earn a starting spot, an unrealistic goal when Woods joins the Bulldogs. He will get that opportunity at the Storm, who will lose Jordan McLean and Tohu Harris from a forward pack that has already lost Kevin Proctor to the Gold Coast.
A move to the Storm might spark a new nickname for the 130kg 1.96m Kasiano, who has been dubbed Dogzilla.
Auckland-born Kasiano played six tests for the Kiwis in 2012-13 and have won four caps for Samoa since 2015.
He has played 127 games for the Bulldogs since his 2011 debut.