Dugan chance to play against Broncos


Already flying high following a 3-0 start to the season, Dragons coach Steve Price faces an enviable selection headache this week with star fullback Josh Dugan possibly making an early return from injury against the Broncos.

Josh Dugan may return to play against the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night.

Josh Dugan may return to play against the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night.

The possible inclusion of Dugan, who hasn't played since injuring his knee in the Dragons's Charity Shield clash with South Sydney, would boost a side already high on confidence following three successive wins.

Price was coy on his star fullback's progress following the Dragons's win over the Sharks but didn't rule out Dugan taking the field against the Broncos.

"He's doing really well with his training," Price said.

"He's been doing a lot of straight-line running.

"We'll assess him during the week whether it's one week, two weeks, three weeks.

"We'll have more of an indication later in the week but it's a good position to be in.

"We had Jack Stockwell come through the Cutters, who had a really good game also, so we're in a good situation."

While Dugan's inclusion when fit is a no-brainer for Price, replacement Adam Quinlan's form certainly hasn't warranted a return to the NSW Cup.

The diminutive livewire proved a good foil for star five-eighth Gareth Widdop in the opening two rounds, picking up a try in both wins over the Tigers and Warriors.

He underlined his value at the other end against the Sharks in defusing a persistent aerial bombardment from Todd Carney in very tough conditions.

Price, who gave Quinlan his first NRL start at five-eighth last year, said he would continue to put faith in Quinlan while awaiting Dugan's return.

"I've got the utmost confidence in Adam to keep getting better and better," Price said.

"I've seen Adam come through the junior grades and what he's done for us.

"All the players are believing in him and the coaching staff and he's only going to get better each game."

One man who is looking forward to Dugan's eventual return is winger Brett Morris who, along with New Zealand international Jason Nightingale, will form arguably the NRL's best back three with the NSW origin fullback.

"He's looking pretty fit and strong at the moment," Morris said.

"He's itching to get back out there and play ... he'll be great when he comes back.

"Being a footballer one of the hardest things to do is watch while your team's winning. You want to be out there and be a part of it.

"He's smashing out his rehab and doing everything he can to get back on the park. He's very excited for all the boys with how we're going at the moment, but he wants to be a part of it."


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