Late season star Damien Cook is set to challenge for the South Sydney hooker berth vacated by Issac Luke after signing to switch NRL clubs from Canterbury.
Announcing the two-year deal, Souths coach Michael Maguire revealed on Thursday that he'd been monitoring 24-year-old Cook for some time as he looks to fill the big void left by Kiwis rake Luke.
The nippy Cook grabbed plenty of attention at the back end of the 2015 season when he took over from injured hooker Michael Lichaa and excelled in the Bulldogs' charge to the finals.
"We've been keeping an eye on Damien for a while now, having recognised his talents, particularly out of dummy half," said Maguire.
"He's gained great experience from what he's done this year, he'll add depth to our squad at dummy half.
"From talking to him you can see he has a professional approach to the game and his training, and we're looking forward to having him join the team for pre-season training in November."
Cook is expected to compete with youngster Cameron McInnes and utility Paul Carter for the Souths' starting job.