NRL Nines Team Predictions: Dragons

Josh Dugan

The St George Illawarra Dragons will field a notably smaller side than other teams in the  NRL Nines competition but you would be foolish to write off a team littered with Origin and International players.

  1. Kyle Stanley
  2. Brett Morris
  3. Charly Runciman
  4. Tyson Frizell
  5. Dylan Farrell
  6. Josh Dugan
  7. Gareth Widdop
  8. Trent Merrin
  9. Ben Creagh
  10. Jason Nightingale
  11. Gerard Beale
  12. Adam Quinlan
  13. Bronson Harrison
  14. Joel Thompson

Quite simply, Josh Dugan will be the x-factor for the Dragons. He is the type of player fans travel to watch and in the Nines competition where there will be more space and one-on-one situations, Dugan will be a handful playing as a second playmaker. For the Dragons to be competitive, they need to get him the ball as often as possible. Watch for him to take advantage of offloads from the likes of Creagh, Merrin and Thompson.

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On the left wing, Brett Morris’ speed, size and finishing ability will be unmatched in this competition. A regular on the top try-scorer’s list in recent years, Morris has had a comparatively quiet 2013 but still led the Dragons for linebreaks. Watch for his combination with NSW U20s rookie centre Charly Runciman who has shown power and quality in his 6 games this season. On the other edge, Tyson Frizell played inside centre for the Australian Schoolboys rugby union team and this centre pairing for the Dragons may be a surprising success for the Dragons.

However, weakness and defence and over-reliance on Dugan will see the Dragons finish in the bottom half of the ladder.

Predicted Finish: 12th

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