SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 04: Josh Dugan of the Dragons runs the ball during the round one NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Penrith Panthers at UOW Jubilee Oval on March 4, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Contract negotiations stall between Dragons and Dugan

Josh Dugan sees himself as a fullback and wants the St George Illawarra Dragons to pay him as one.

The only problem is the Dragons don’t see him as a fullback and instead want him to re-sign with the club as a centre. What’s the difference you ask? Money and a lot of it.

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In the modern game, centres are one of the lowest paid positions, especially compared to the all important spine. The fullback has become an increasingly important addition to most team’s attack, with the No. 1 quite often inserting themselves into the line and taking on the role of another playmaker.

While no one can question Dugan’s toughness and ball running, his ball handling and passing leaves a lot to be desired.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Dragons are willing to make Dugan one of the highest paid centres in the game with an offer of $2.2 million over three years.

The Dragons are unwilling to go any higher with their offer and there have been reports that Dugan is looking for something around the $1 million a year mark.

“I feel like I’m a fullback and I’ve said that all along,” Dugan said.

“The rest of that sort of stuff that is up to my management and the club but I am looking to play fullback.”

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8 COMMENTS

  1. He’s a good fullback but a better centre, and definitely not a $1 million a year player. $500K-$600K per year at centre.

  2. Saints have lots of options… Think Dugan is a wholehearted player who I would prefer stayed rather then go but with Field , Duffty and even Widdop all on the roster.. centre may be his only option

  3. Dugan will paint himself into a corner if he insists on being a fullback. Not really anyone looking for a fullback. However, centre could attract some offers.

  4. As much as I love him, if he went, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. With Aitken, Herbert, Milne and young Zac Lomax on the books, the centre position is fairly well covered. And at fullback we are well covered too with Dufty. Would love to see Dugan stay though, he’s a great player.

  5. I’m reckon the Dragons intend on having Hunt and Field in the halves next year. This means Widdop is most likely gone or maybe they’re thinking Widdop as Fullback and Dugs centre.

    Don’t think they can afford to keep both though.

  6. His problem is that as a FB he is a good runner of the ball but lacks the ball skills that FBs like Boyd, Moylan and Coote have. And he didn’t set the world on fire last year at Saints in the centres in the few games he played there. Realistically, what Saints have reportedly offered him is about right, especially if they see him as a centre.

    • Dugan is a centre but the Dragons keep trying to force a square peg in a round hole because they don’t have any round pegs. I think Jai Field could have the X-factor at FB that the Dragons are missing but I have no idea how he would react to the pressure or under a high ball. Defensively, I wouldn’t expect much either.

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