Canterbury are set to unveil former captain Dean Pay as their new NRL coach on Friday.

The Bulldogs have been on the lookout for a new coach after a messy split with Des Hasler a fortnight ago that could head to the courts over a payout dispute.

According to News Corp Australia, Pay has been given the role just two days after both he and current assistant coach Jim Dymock were believed to be interviewed by the club.

It will be Pay's first gig as top dog following an extensive apprenticeship as assistant at Canberra this season, as well as Parramatta and the Sydney Roosters.


The appointment also comes just a day after chairman Ray Dib promised to restore the club's culture by bringing former players back to Belmore.

Pay, a former Australia and NSW State of Origin representative, was part of the club's 1995 premiership which was his final game in seven years wearing the blue-and-white.

The Bulldogs' last Dally M medal winner in Michael Potter has also been linked with a move back to the club as an assistant.

"Above all, we want to bring back the Bulldogs' spirit of old," Dib wrote to Bulldogs fans.

"Part of that process will be the re-engagement of past players and reconnecting with our traditions and history."

Pay will be tasked with lifting the Bulldogs back into premiership contention next year after missing the finals for the first time in six seasons this year.

The 360 points they scored was 50 points less than the next best club.

The 48-year-old publicly declared his interest in the role not long after Hasler was shown the door, saying the Bulldogs had a unique culture.

"The people that have played there in the past really appreciate the club. It all set up there right from the beginning with (Peter Moore) and (Barry) Nelson," he recently told Fairfax.

"I spent a lot of time there. At the end of the day it's a club that's close to my heart. If the opportunity comes up, I'd certainly have a discussion about it, that's for sure."

Big-named signings Aaron Woods and Kieran Foran are also expected to bring immediate change, despite the loss of captain James Graham and five-eighth Josh Reynolds.