Jason Nightingale keen to see Josh Dugan as centre of attention

Josh Dugan.

Josh Dugan.

While Josh Dugan is strongly tipped to return to the Dragons No 1 jersey on return from Origin III, his right-sided partner Jason Nightingale is keen to see his metamorphosis from fullback to centre maintained for the rest of the season.

Dugan's switch from fullback has been a success with five tries in three games for the Dragons, and stellar effort in shutting down Maroons superstar Greg Inglis in the series-winning Origin II battle.

It's left coach Paul McGregor to consider whether Dugan should play at fullback or centre now Dylan Farrell has returned to full fitness.

McGregor is yet to show his hand but Nightingale, who's played outside a procession of centres this season, has no doubt where he'd like to see the former NSW fullback.

"I'd assume he'll be back there [centre] he's going great," Nightingale said.

"I love playing outside him. He rips in in defence and he creates a lot in attack.

"I'm sure he'll fit right back in there. I don't see him going back to fullback any time soon but I'm not the coach."

Nightingale certainly didn't look lost without Dugan against the Cowboys on Saturday, scoring three tries on the right flank.

Nightingale's class on the flank and the composure of halves Gareth Widdop and Benji Marshall got the Dragons home in a tight match between two desperate sides that saw the lead change four times.

Nightingale admitted the match, in which the Dragons trailed 20-14 with 20 minutes to play, was one his side would most likely have squandered earlier this season.

"Potentially, yeah. It was [a] very up and down team performance, we played really good in patches and really bad in patches," Nightingale said.

"It was probably our worst performance of the past month but in saying that we were off the back of a five-day turnaround and we backed a up a very good performance [against Melbourne] with a solid performance. That's pretty big for us."

Nightingale said the gritty win was indicative of the Dragons new belief under McGregor that's seen them win four of their last five matches to force their way back into finals contention.

"Credit to Mary, he's pointed us in the right direction. He's very hard on us but very sure of the direction we're going in so we just need to follow the game plan and we'll keep getting the results we've been getting."

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