An unexpected switch to right centre could reignite more than Josh Dugan's Origin career according to Dragons teammate Jason Nightingale.
While Paul McGregor's bold decision to shift one of the game's best No 1s to right centre could make or break the Blues chances of ending Queensland's eight-year Origin stranglehold on Wednesday night, Nightingale feels it could also hold the key to resurrecting the Dragons' finals hopes.
Nightingale had front-row seats for Dugan's three-try heroics against the Sharks in round 13 and was a beneficiary of recalled fullback Adam Quinlan's talents against the Panthers last week when he latched onto a deft round the corner ball to post the Dragons' second try.
He said the move to accommodate both Dugan and Quinlan in the top squad could prove a masterstroke from the rookie coach.
"I think it is a great little stroke of genius from Paul McGregor," Nightingale said.
"I really enjoyed my one game outside of Duges.
"Quinny adds an extra dimension with his passing game out the back and his support play is outstanding.
"We'll just have to see how Josh pulls up [after Origin] and hopefully we can fold straight back into that situation."
Nightingale also hoped the move stops the backline merry-go-round that's seen the Dragons go through numerous halves and centre combinations over the opening 14 rounds.
"We haven't played our best footy yet this year and consistency comes with having the same people in the same positions," he said.
"Obviously injuries usually change that and at this stage of the year you wouldn't find a backline in the comp that's the same as it was at the start of the year.
"We'll get Brett [Morris] back in however many weeks it takes and hopefully everyone else gets through the year fine and we can keep those combinations consistent."
Dugan was named at centre for Sunday's match with the Titans on Tuesday with Peter Mata'utia, who played at right centre in Saturday's 18-14 loss to Penrith, dropping out of the side.
Young gun Charly Runciman was retained after making his first appearance of the season against Penrith and will partner Gerard Beale on the left.
Runciman, 20, who played the final six games of 2013 after making his debut in round 16, has been forced to bide his time with the Illawarra Cutters due to the Dragons' depth in outside backs.
He said the addition of Dugan will see competition intensify.
"It's got to bring the best out of you. You've just got to work hard each week and make the most of the opportunities ... and that's something Mary's brought into the team," Runciman said.
"If you're not making the most of your opportunities you're going to be down the pecking order so that's what I've got to do."
Front-rower Tyson Frizell will miss up to eight weeks after surgery on a high sprain in his left ankle suffered early in Saturday's loss to Penrith.