Fiji Time: 2:29 AM on Friday 3 October

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Dugan undecided

Aap
Tuesday, July 08, 2014

SYDNEY - What started as an experiment for Josh Dugan might just become permanent.

The St George Illawarra and NSW star admits he has no idea what his preferred position is after his shock switch from fullback to centre last month.

Dugan's NRL coach Paul McGregor has indicated he'll move his biggest strikeweapon back to the No.1 jersey after the State of Origin period.

But the man himself isn't so sure he wants that to happen.

It's an incredible change in mind-set for a player considered an out-and-out-fullback until McGregor instigated the bold move back in round 12.

The Dragons were struggling for continuity in attack and Dugan decided to put his hand up.

That the injury-hit Blues were looking for a new right centre at the same time was just a happy coincidence, according to the 24-year-old.

"Mary (McGregor) asked me if I thought Adam Quinlan should be playing first grade and I said yes," said Dugan.

"And he said, 'well to do that you'd have to play centre.'

"I said, 'yeah throw me there.'

"It was always solely about the (Dragons) and it just so happened there was an opportunity that opened up for me there for NSW."

Dugan has come a long way since he was sacked by Canberra last year.

He admits his younger, more head-strong self wouldn't have been so keen on making a sacrifice for the good of the team.

"In the early days of my career, I was a bit younger and I wanted to play where I wanted to play. But as you grow up you learn the team environment and you always want to do the best by them," he said.

"Over the last 18 months I've developed that mentality."

Now that injured Dragons centre Dylan Farrell is back on deck, it would seem Dugan can return to fullback in place of Quinlan if he chooses.

But Dugan is in two minds.

His second ever outing in the front line came in NSW's most important Origin match, game two in Sydney.

Dugan defied the critics to shut down Queensland superstar Greg Inglis.

For the Dragons, Dugan's powerful ball-carrying has formed a promising combination on the right-side, with veteran playmaker Benji Marshall and winger Jason Nightingale.

The factor which might tilt Dugan towards saying at centre is that NSW's current fullback Jarryd Hayne — at just 26 years of age — is now in the conversation as the best player in the NRL.

Dugan's best chance of becoming a regular fixture at Origin level may be at centre.

"At the moment I can't pick one," he said.

"I'm really loving playing centre. I'm a bit surprised how well I've made that transition."





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Sir Timoci's life
  2. Police probe
  3. FEA to absorb costs
  4. Ryan sets target
  5. $1.7m in losses
  6. Saving the best for last
  7. If they were boys
  8. Hotelier expends support
  9. Opening hours boost service
  10. Wallabies back on track

Top Stories this Week

  1. PM: Work with me Monday (29 Sep)
  2. Australia applauds Fiji Tuesday (30 Sep)
  3. Police intervene Friday (26 Sep)
  4. Businessman wants answers Monday (29 Sep)
  5. A letter explained Friday (26 Sep)
  6. Rugby brawl Wednesday (01 Oct)
  7. FLP mourns death of party member Tuesday (30 Sep)
  8. Fiji only country to offer aid Wednesday (01 Oct)
  9. Police investigate Monday (29 Sep)
  10. Memorial for former teacher Tuesday (30 Sep)