Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen wants to help create a long-term winning culture at Canterbury after signing on as a mentor for new coach Trent Barrett.
The appointment of Hansen is a massive coup for the Bulldogs, who are going on a recruiting spree to turn around recent seasons of poor results including this year's second-last finish.
At the helm of the New Zealand team from 2012, Hansen steered the All Blacks to the 2015 World Cup title and stepped down following last year's tournament in Japan where the bowed out in the semi-finals.
Under his time as coach the All Blacks only lost 10 games from 107.
Barrett, who along with Craig Bellamy and Ivan Cleary, had spent time in the All Blacks camp and reached out the Hansen as part of his plans to change the culture at the Bulldogs.
"Trent Barrett, who had spent some time with the All Blacks doing some PD (personal development) work with us approached me and asked if I would like to mentor and be a sounding board for him," Hansen told Bulldogs.com.au.
"Our primary discussion has been around helping Trent create an environment where athletes can perform to their best, putting in performances they, the club and fans can be proud of.
"You're on a very limited winning environment if you don't have the right culture - if your culture is airy fairy then your results are going to be."
Hansen said had two "non-negotiables".
"You've got to understand who you are as a team and who you're representing from a history point of view," he said.
"The other one is that the team is more important than individuals."
Currently based in New Zealand, Hanson said the practicalities of the role in the COVID-19 environment still had to be nutted out, while he also holds a position of director of rugby at Japanese Top League side Toyota Verblitz.
Hansen said he was excited to be involved in a new code, although he admitted he was no expert in league.
"I don't have to understand the nuts and bolts of the game, I'm not coaching the game, I'm coaching the coach and his group.
"That's the same in any group, if you get certain things right, you get the environment that you need to be successful.
"I'm a backboard for him and maybe suggesting going left rather than right at times but Trent's the man in charge."
Australian Associated Press