Joe Stimson has revealed the opportunity to play more minutes was the main reason why he swapped Melbourne Storm for Canterbury Bulldogs.

The 24-year-old started off in Melbourne’s NYC team before being promoted to the first team, He made his first-grade debut in round two of the 2017 NRL season against the New Zealand Warriors.

After making his debut, he signed a new deal to take him up to the end of 2019. He featured in the 2018 Grand Final for the Storm, but injuries hampered him in the following year.

Stimson agreed a three-year deal to join the Bulldogs in June.

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He told “I had a great opportunity to come here [to Canterbury] and improve my footy and a great opportunity to play more minutes.

“The way the back-rowers were playing down in Melbourne, I saw myself as mainly a back-up there. I hope to be one of those getting a starting spot here.”

“I had a [lower back] disc injury at the start of the year [missed opening 10 rounds] so that didn’t help me at all.

“It set me back and then the way Kenny Bromwich started the year, you just have to respect that good form,” Stimson said.

“He had it so he got the opportunities. I had to go the long way around. I got myself back on the bench for a little bit but that’s where I stayed really.

“They said to me I could look around. By the sounds of it – and without actually saying it – there was no contract for me next year [2020].

“I owe a lot to the Storm but I was grateful the Bulldogs came knocking.”