Dragons loom likely for Dugan

19 Have your say

    St George Illawarra are looming as the most likely Australian NRL club to secure the services of sacked Raiders star Josh Dugan with his father’s strong support for the club believed to be a motivating factor.

    The Dragons are reportedly still interested in Dugan after failing to secure his signature in 2012 when he opted to re-sign with Canberra for a contract worth $1.3 million over two years.

    It is understood that Dugan’s father is a stout Dragons supporter, which could influence the 22-year-old’s chances of heading to the club.

    The Raiders board voted unanimously to terminate Dugan’s contract at a meeting on Thursday citing repeated breaches of the club’s code of conduct, believed to have been sparked by a breakdown in his relationship with coach David Furner.

    Dugan was photographed drinking while injured, a breach of club rules, after Canberra’s loss to Penrith on Sunday and in the image he was giving a middle-finger salute.

    The image, taken and uploaded to a social networking site by Dugan himself, featured teammate Blake Ferguson, who on Thursday was also hit with a $10,000 fine and ordered to undergo counselling.

    Furner said it was out of the club’s hands whether Dugan was allowed to play in different NRL colours in 2013.

    “That’s not our decision,” said Furner.

    “His contract was terminated so we’ll be setting him loose.”

    Onlookers said there was a sense of relief amongst the players at the Raiders training session on Thursday with the club keen to put the saga behind them and start focussing on the season ahead.

    Dugan’s sacking has left his immediate future under threat with the livewire fullback no longer registered with the NRL.

    At the moment he is in the same position as Todd Carney was in when he had to play a season for the Atherton Roosters in the local Cairns competition in 2009.

    While Dugan’s misdemeanours are not as severe as Carney’s offences, an NRL official told AAP that if any club wanted to pick him up for the 2013 season they would first have to apply to the NRL to have him registered.

    The NRL would then have to consider all the facts as to why he was sacked by Canberra before deciding whether he could join that club, the official said.

    The news only gets worse for Dugan, with the number of potential NRL suitors appearing limited.

    Brisbane, Penrith and the Cowboys all showed disinterest in signing Dugan on Thursday despite early reports linking the one-game Origin player to each of the clubs.

    “Panthers are not, and never have been, in the market to sign Josh Dugan. Media reports suggesting otherwise are totally incorrect,” Penrith general manager Phil Gould wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

    Broncos’ operations manager Andrew Gee told AAP they had no comment to make as every player who came onto the market got linked to the Brisbane-based club.

    Cowboys manager Peter Parr said they had only just re-signed Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott and James Tamou and had little money left.

    He added that the Cowboys were currently focussing their energy on re-signing Matt Bowen, with the live-wire fullback coming off contract at the end of the season.

    AAP attempted to contact both Dragons chairman Peter Doust and Dugan’s manager Paul Sutton but both were unavailable for comment.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (19)

    • March 15th 2013 @ 10:04am
      Ken said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:04am | ! Report

      As a Dragons fan I suspect it would be safer to just leave him alone, despite the fact that a young player with superstar potential could be a boost we need. Dugan seemed to deliberately instigate his own sacking, which means it’s unlikely to be the jolt he needs to realise that if he doesn’t knuckle down he’ll find himself a has-been in a couple of years.

      If all he needs is a fresh start to change his ways then come on down to the Dragons but I suspect his attitude problems (both on and off the field) will not have been changed by this sacking. Probably better then to leave him alone.

      • Roar Guru

        March 15th 2013 @ 10:18am
        Dogs Of War said | March 15th 2013 @ 10:18am | ! Report

        It’s a win win situation for the Dragons though. You get him on a contract that says he can’t consume alcohol during the season or he loses X% of his contract money with some sort of 2-3 strikes policy and you guys are set. You get a player who could potentially be one of the best going around, and the change in location may be exactly what he needs. Away from his friends who may be leading him astray, and hopefully married up with a club culture that doesn’t allow the sort of antics he has been doing.

        • March 15th 2013 @ 12:35pm
          Ken said | March 15th 2013 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

          I see your point but if he does go off the rails (stay off the rails?) how much damage will he do to the club before they give up and pull the plug? Attitude problems tend to seep into a culture like a slow drip poison.

          I’m under no illusions that the Dragons squad are all saints (yeah ok that was sad), but over the years, though a good core of senior players, a tendency to bring our own players through and a bit of luck, they’ve managed to avoid boozy, damaging headlines over the last couple of decades (Gaz’s phone call 10 years ago would be the exception).

          I’m just not sure it’s worth the risk on introducing into our current, fairly young squad a player like Dugan, immensely talented but lazy on the field and with a huge self-entitlement off it.

    • March 15th 2013 @ 12:44pm
      oikee said | March 15th 2013 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

      Good, Dragons will be the second club he departs. Then send him to France or Japan and hopefully we never hear from him again.

      Reecey Robinson and Edrick Lee replaced him long ago. If the Dragons want to upset Beale, be my guest, i hope he comes back to the Broncos and we can put him at Fullback, where he should have been from day dot.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 1:38pm
        Charles NSW said | March 15th 2013 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

        That is the very point, who will he upset next! Sometimes it is better having the players you have then bring in a so called super star who will want all the attention on him!

        • March 15th 2013 @ 1:40pm
          oikee said | March 15th 2013 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

          Please dont mention superstar and Dugan in the same sentence. This guy is not even close. Inglis would make mincemeant of this pretender.

          • March 17th 2013 @ 2:47pm
            Charles NSW said | March 17th 2013 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

            As I said – a so called superstar!

    • March 15th 2013 @ 1:24pm
      Dean - Surry Hills said | March 15th 2013 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

      I suspect from his actions that Dugan already has another offer on the table, and that a swift exit was just what he was looking for.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 1:38pm
        oikee said | March 15th 2013 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

        I bet canberra are celebrating right about now.
        I heard that he was being paid 650 thousand for this year and next. ???
        Look, Canberra should be holding a party today. Reece robinson and edrick Lee are much better prospects.
        So saving 650 thousand on this guy, who if he ends up at the Broncos they might as well shut the place down, then that is brillaint saving, and they can now bring in a good junior from their Brisbane feeder club.
        Papalii, Edrick Lee, Milford? i think, all come from Logan Juniors, one of the best feeder clubs in Australia.
        Cam Smith also came from Logan.

        Dugan, good riddence to bad rubbish i think is a good saying. The raiders were going no where with him, why would they miss him.

        • March 15th 2013 @ 2:18pm
          Ken said | March 15th 2013 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

          They’ll miss him for the same reason they missed Carney, Dugan has the ‘potential’ to be a top 10 player. Like Carney, they’ve spent a great deal of effort developing Dugan, likely including showing a lot of patience in his behaviour, and now in sacking him they get to watch another team take advantage of his talent.

          Canberra made the right decision to cut him, but there’s no cause for celebration.

    • March 15th 2013 @ 2:46pm
      Worlds Biggest said | March 15th 2013 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

      2 year deal worth 1.3 mill and he wanted out ? If that figure is true he is crazy. No other Club will have that coin now nor will they likely to part with it given Dugans history.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 6:09pm
        seanmaguire said | March 15th 2013 @ 6:09pm | ! Report

        Yeah it is crazy, Dugan has basically swapped a winning lotto ticket for a carton of cruisers. No way will another club pay him that much.

      • March 16th 2013 @ 2:19am
        Devout Saint said | March 16th 2013 @ 2:19am | ! Report

        Plus he got a 9% increase on that when the salary cap just went up. lol

    • March 15th 2013 @ 6:19pm
      Dr Chop said | March 15th 2013 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

      As a Dragons’ fan I’d say no. For one thing he looks like a bloody bikie. Secondly, he clearly has off-field issues. I wouldn’t want him bringing those to a club that, other than Gasnier’s fire up incident (and that happened while he was in camp with the Blues) and Trent Barrett doing pushups in his underwear, has a near perfect record when it comes to off-field issues. Thirdly, the St George Illawarra backline does not need strengthening. To give Dugan the Dragons’ no. 1 jersey would be completely disrespectful to Gerard Beale. I can’t see Dugan replacing Morris, Nightingale or Cooper. I can’t see him replacing Chase Stanley either. Besides, Vidot is next in line for a crack at the right center position. From all reports Vidot and Dugan already don’t like each other. I can’t imagine it would go down well if Dugan waltzed into the club and pushed both Vidot and Stanley to the back of the line. The only other option for Dugan is five eighth, and move Soward to half-back and drop Fien. But Dugan’s record at five eighth is shaky at best. I just don’t get the Dragon’s recruitment strategy. We miss out on Cooper Cronk, Luke Lewis and Rangi Chase (some ‘English’ bloke), all of whom we could have used, yet when we are finally the favourite to sign a ‘star player’, he’s someone we have no need for. It’s just stupid.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 11:03pm
        Dr Chop said | March 15th 2013 @ 11:03pm | ! Report

        Since watching the Dragons lose so abysmally to Brisbane I’ve changed my mind. We need all the help we can get!

        • March 16th 2013 @ 2:28am
          Devout Saint said | March 16th 2013 @ 2:28am | ! Report

          I have been telling everyone since last year that Beale is a dud buy.

          Personally I would not sign Dugan either, due to him missing more games than he plays and hearing of his on going attitude problem. But if we do sign him and he can stay fit and get his attidude right he could turn out to be a great signing. He isn’t the kind of style of fullback that I would like. I would prefer a someone who is lightening fast, someone in he Slater, Stewart, Will Hoppoate mould. I can dream. lol

          Personally I think that we should have B Morris at fullback. He was our best player their last year, but he lacked a decent pair of halves to set him up to create oppotunities for him, but he was the only one who looked threatening last year while playing fullback. To put simly B Morris is too good to be stuck on the wing, he should either be fullback or center.

          • March 16th 2013 @ 10:18am
            Dr Chop said | March 16th 2013 @ 10:18am | ! Report

            I think it’s way too early to tell whether Beale has been a dud buy or not. He’s no Boyd (although from memory, Boyd took about half a season before he was raking in the try assists down the left hand side), but he’s been good off kick returns, safe under the high ball, and his positional play has generally been quite good. Too early to make a call on him yet. Morris proved last year his ball playing isn’t up to the standard of a first grade fullback.

            • March 18th 2013 @ 5:04am
              Devout Saint said | March 18th 2013 @ 5:04am | ! Report

              What we really need is a pair of ball playing halves. Now Soward is not a ballplayer, becasue he will not go to the line and comit defenders before passing the ball.

              If we had better ball playing halves then Morris would have looked even better. As it was he was our best player last year and he played about 1/2 to 2 thirds of the year at fullback. I even remember Dean Young sayiing that he had been our best player last year while he was playing fullback. Morris is the only one in our backline who looks like producing something, although I think Chase would be going exellent if he had a decent pair of halves to run off to. Everything gets back to our halves. I think Morris is the best winger in the game, but I think he is too good to be stuck on the wing and should be playing either fullback or center.

    • March 16th 2013 @ 8:17am
      Big Time said | March 16th 2013 @ 8:17am | ! Report

      Beale centres, Dugan fullback , Cummins or Drinkwater halfback and Sheens as coach. In all fairness all fans have to take the good with the bad. We have had a good run. It would be different if we were not trying but they are having a go.

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