Josh Dugan reveals talks with rugby union clubs

By Matt Encarnacion, Matt Encarnacion is a Roar Guru

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    St George Illawarra star Josh Dugan has revealed speaking to overseas rugby union clubs as he deliberates where he will take his talents at the end of the NRL season.

    While remaining in the NRL is his preferred option, Dugan went on the front foot on Thursday to boldly declare he has no shortage of destinations for his future.

    Asked if rugby union was an option, Dugan told reporters: “I’m not going to rule anything out. I have spoken to clubs overseas, but my first goal is to stay in the NRL.

    “I actually grew up playing rugby before I played rugby league. I could’ve played for (ACT) Brumbies when I was younger but I chose to play Harold (Matthews U/16s) for the Raiders.

    “I’ve got a little bit of background. It wouldn’t be that hard a switch for me, I don’t think.”

    However the 26-year-old did admit there were still some goals to achieve in rugby league, including winning his first grand final and the upcoming World Cup for Australia.

    Dugan was a key contributor for the Kangaroos in their Four Nations triumph in November.

    “I feel like I’m playing good footy. I’ve just come off a Four Nations tour which I felt like I played pretty well in that side,” he said.

    “That’s my goal this year, to be there at the end of the year in the World Cup. For me it’s just about focusing week in, week out, playing good footy and the rest will hopefully fall into place.”

    Dugan also hinted that his days as a centre in the Red V are over, saying he has worked hard with 2011 premiership-winning captain Ben Hornby at developing his passing game.

    “I’ve been working on a fair bit with Benny Hornby all pre-season and just looking to keep improving. I think that’s showing in the last few weeks that I am trying,” he said.

    “I feel like I’m a fullback – I’ve said that all along. The rest of that stuff, that’s up to my management and the club. But I’m a fullback.”

    The Dragons face Cronulla in a local derby at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Sunday.

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • March 17th 2017 @ 8:14am
      Lincoln Lense said | March 17th 2017 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      No thanks Josh

      From now on the ARU will only be investing in grass roots

      Not some inked up roof-partying boozer from the wrong side of the tracks

      We may as well send Richard Attenborough to live in Mt Druitt

    • March 17th 2017 @ 9:15am
      John said | March 17th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

      Where was the ARU mentioned? Tipping he wants a pay rise not a return to Harold Matts level footy.

      • Roar Guru

        March 17th 2017 @ 7:23pm
        Cadfael said | March 17th 2017 @ 7:23pm | ! Report

        The only mention was rugby union no club or country. He said (Daily Telegraph 17.3.2017) that he played rugby as a junior and could have played for the Brumbies but went to the Raiders instead. After all this the Dragons have dropped their time framer for Dugan to resign.

    • Roar Rookie

      March 17th 2017 @ 9:49am
      Dave_S said | March 17th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

      I don’t think he’s even playing the contract increase card. He says he wants to stay in the NRL and, when asked, he simply and sensibly said he didn’t rule rugby out. The guy may have had issues but he sure can play. Would be a good winger if he crossed over. Prob doesn’t have the boot to play FB.

      • March 17th 2017 @ 11:57am
        Marto said | March 17th 2017 @ 11:57am | ! Report

        Dugans boot is bigger than Folaus and look where the ” SUPERCOACH ” Chieka has him ..

    • March 17th 2017 @ 10:09am
      Boz said | March 17th 2017 @ 10:09am | ! Report

      He’s following the script of any NRL player coming up to a new contract. Can’t blame him for trying. I doubt he would leave the NRL though.

      • March 17th 2017 @ 2:59pm
        Moonboot said | March 17th 2017 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

        He played rugby at school didn’t he?? he would look good on the red rooves of Newcastle Rugby Club on Tyneside.

        • March 17th 2017 @ 6:14pm
          Sammy Salsa said | March 17th 2017 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

          Yep, was a pretty good player for Marist Bros Canberra in my day, although had a tendency to get injured (fake-injured) and/or sulk when they when loosing. Which luckily for me was pretty often 😀

          Looks a bit bigger now tho…

    • March 17th 2017 @ 3:08pm
      jimmyc said | March 17th 2017 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

      I am loving that league players are going to European/Japanese rugby. They can spend a couple of years learning the game on someone else dollar. Then if they are good enough, the ARU can pay them their fair value to get them back to Australia. If not nothing lost for Australian rugby.

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