Quinlan aims to impress before Dugan returns


He might only be keeping the seat warm for Josh Dugan, but Adam Quinlan hasn't given up on playing a part in St George Illawarra's season once their prized No 1 returns.

While the odds appear stacked against Dugan returning for the Dragons' clash with Brisbane, prolonging Quinlan's NRL stay of execution by a week, the pint-sized fullback has designs of forcing his way into the top 17 later in the year.

"I try not to think about [Dugan returning] and just enjoy this while I can," Quinlan said. "Hopefully I'll be a part of the side further on in the season.

"I'm enjoying being out there with the team. If [Dugan returns] that would be great for the team, but if not I'll be looking to do a good job for the team again and enjoy it while I've got the chance."

Quinlan's best chance to muddy Steve Price's selection puzzle would be a bid for the utility role, as Kyle Stanley nurses his way back to fitness after a fourth knee reconstruction.

He's been sound at the back for the Dragons since Dugan went down with a knee injury in the Charity Shield, but arguably faces his biggest test against the in-form Broncos on Friday night.

Quinlan's opposite number Ben Barba has taken to life in Brisbane slowly, but it hasn't stopped the Culburra junior from warning the Dragons must be on red alert for the former Dally M medallist.

"They've got a lot of quality players out there," Quinlan said. "Barba's one of them and Hunt's another one. We'll have to be on our game to stop them and hopefully we can.

"They start hard and fast and if we can combat that and take care of their star players, it will go a long way to winning."

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