Trent Merrin's looking good for a return

Trent Merrin is now running at training. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Trent Merrin is now running at training. Picture: GETTY IMAGES


Trent  Merrin is poised to be a stunning inclusion in the Dragons line-up to face Melbourne on Monday after surprising medical staff with his speedy recovery from an ankle injury.

Merrin ran freely on his injured ankle and coach Paul McGregor said he will be assessed on Sunday before the final call is made on his availability.

"He's a chance. He's surprising everyone at the moment," McGregor said.

"The injury isn't an impact injury, it's more of a muscle injury. At the moment he's only running at about 40-50 per cent.

"We had 20 guys out there and he was one of them but he wasn't doing too much. It's positive that he's on the grass and not in the pool.

"We'll look at him again on Sunday and assess it then."

In another unexpected boost for the Dragons, Dylan Farrell returned to full training on Friday for the first time since he tore a pectoral muscle against Melbourne in round 10.

Farrell won't play against the Storm but McGregor said he was a strong chance to return for the Dragons round 17 clash with North Queensland.

"We're thinking next week at the moment. We've got the bye the next week so he'll either play next week or play with the feeder club," McGregor said.

Farrell's quicker than expected return means Monday's game is shaping up as Josh Dugan's last at right centre.

"He's [Farrell] the only genuine right centre in the club," McGregor said.

"Dylan was brought here to play first grade, Duges was brought here to play first grade at fullback. It's best fit for the football team when it comes on but at the moment the best fit for the football team is for him [Dugan] to play on the right edge."

Though he will more than likely shift back to fullback next week, it's unlikely Dugan will lose his right centre jersey when Laurie Daley names his side for Game III next Tuesday.

"He's certainly handled himself very well there. He's played against one of the best players in the world and one who will be known as one of the best who's played the game [Greg Inglis] and come out the other end with a win," McGregor said.

"It's a long time since a player has switched from centre and been able to handle it. It's a credit to him; he's a natural footballer."

Prop Dan Hunt will miss the match with Melbourne after a foot injury at training on Thursday.

The veteran has still to notch his 150th game for the club after he missed the Dragons last three games with a groin injury.

His new injury will delay his milestone match by at least another week.


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