The Dogs made initial inquiries on Saturday about signing former Canberra winger Jordan Rapana, who is keen on a return after coronavirus suspended the Japanese rugby competition. Stuart, who played alongside Pay and employed him as an assistant at the Raiders, went in to bat for the third-year NRL head coach. "I spoke to Dean during the week and I've never heard him as down as he was," Stuart said. "He has wonderful moral values, as we've seen this week. That's what you want from your leader. "You only have to see the way they finished last season, and what was a disruptive week this week and the way they came out and played for him against a red-hot Parramatta team.￼ "I've been very fortunate at Canberra because my board have given me the opportunity and time to create stability and build a competitive football team. That doesn't happen in two or three years. "I always told our members it would hurt to start with but if we can't be patient things will never get fixed." Rapana was linked with a return to the Raiders, but they have little room in their cap and the Bulldogs planned to reach out to the winger's management. The Kiwi flyer would be a logical wing replacement for Okunbor if he is sacked.