Dapto may have added the missing piece to their pursuit for a first Illawarra Rugby League title since 2016, with the signing of former Samoan international Joseph BJ Leilua.
Dapto announced via their social media outlets that Leilua, who has played over 200 NRL games and 15 internationals for Samoa, would join the club for the 2024 season.
It was only four years ago that Leilua played for the Canberra Raiders in the 2019 NRL grand final against the Sydney Roosters.
All up Leilua played 225 NRL games from 2010 to 2021, having started his career at the Roosters (2010-12) before spells at Newcastle (2013-15), Canberra (2015-19) and Wests Tigers (2020-21).
Canaries coach Blake Wallace was excited to see his star recruit in action.
"It's a big signing for the club," he said.
"We're excited to have a player of Joe's calibre jump on board. We feel he's going to be a really good asset to the club and I'm excited to work with him."
Wallace said Dapto player Pita Godinet alerted the Canaries that his good mate Leilua was without a club for 2024.
"Pita gave us his number, we called him and fortunately we were able to secure Joey's services. It was a good result."
The 31-year-old Leilua played in the centres for most of his NRL career but Wallace indicated his latest recruit would most probably play closer to middle for the Canaries.
"We're sort of looking to move him in a little bit closer to the middle, but we'll see where he best fits in throughout the preseason," the coach said.
"But I don't think he'll be in the centres.
"We'll play around with a few things there and see how he feels and where he best fits into the team."
Leilua's signature comes hot on the heels of Aaron Gray also re-signing for the Canaries for season 2024.
Gray was named the competition's best centre in 2023.
He starred in a Dapto outfit which started the season slowly but then went on a massive giant-killing run only to drop their penultimate game to Corrimal in the Cougars only win of the season.
"Aaron was great for us last year. If you ask me, he was the form centre of the competition," Wallace said.
"It was good to get him back on board and it's good to have him around the place because he brings so much experience to the young boys we've got there at the club. We're excited to get him back and see what we can build on.
"We're looking to get the squad back together again. Everything there is looking promising.
"So it's just about adding some blokes in some key areas and building on what we did last year. We fell short of our goal and that's okay.
"We've looked at a few areas we need to fix up and that's all we're looking to do heading into next season."