Pay drops NRL axe on Bulldogs No.9 Lichaa

Canterbury coach Dean Pay has dropped Michael Lichaa as hooker for the NRL clash with Brisbane but can't name his replacement.

In a bid to "shake up" a misfiring Canterbury, coach Dean Pay has confirmed Michael Lichaa has been axed as hooker for the NRL clash with Brisbane but could not name his replacement.

Six months after being thrown an NRL lifeline by Pay, Lichaa's Bulldogs future again appears uncertain after being left behind for Thursday night's game despite being named as starting No.9 and not carrying any injuries.

"We named him in the squad to cover ourselves but we didn't bring him up here," Pay said.

"He's still at home. We just named him because we came up early in the week and had a couple of worries with a couple of niggles.

"He's not injured. He's just got a couple of things to work on in his game."

Regular pivot Jeremy Marshall-King is expected to line up in No.9 in a spine reshuffle aimed at sparking the third-from-bottom Bulldogs, who have lost four of their past five games.

Matt Frawley is tipped to reunite with No.7 Kieran Foran in the halves against Brisbane.

Not that Pay could confirm that on Wednesday.

"We have brought a squad up here, got a couple of different options," he said.

"A few guys have played nine. Who we start and who we don't is something we still have to finalise."

Lichaa looked set to leave the Bulldogs at the end of 2017 but coach Des Hasler's departure kept the door ajar and by October he had signed a two-year contract extension.

Lichaa was expected to thrive under Pay who first met the 24-year-old hooker working at a NSW under 20s camp.

Pay couldn't confirm a starting rake but made it clear what would be expected from the replacement No.9 against the Broncos.

"We are looking to shake things up," he said.

"We just need a nine who is really consistent with their service from dummy half.

"We haven't scored the points we want to score so we are trying to change things up."

Frawley started the season at five-eighth but initially failed to gel with Kiwi international Foran, opening the door for Marshall-King.

Source: AAP

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