SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Josh Dugan of the Sharks runs the ball during the round three NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Cronulla Sharks at ANZ Stadium on March 24, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

12-time Australia representative Josh Dugan has signed with regional New South Wales club Orange United for the 2022 season.

The 31-year-old called time on his 215-game NRL career at the cessation of last season, ending his four-year stint with the Cronulla Sharks.

Dugan first made his NRL debut in 2009 with Canberra, where he would play 70 matches before venturing to St George Illawarra ahead of the 2013 season.

The Garran product made a dozen appearances for New South Wales' state of origin side across his career, while also featuring for NSW's Country Origin team on two occasions.

Dugan has now linked up with Woodbridge Cup club Orange United for the season ahead, with the club announcing his signature this week.


A move to Orange is set to see the ex-NRL journeyman rekindle his relationship with local level rugby league, with Dugan hoping to mentor the next wave of talent.

"For me personally, it's about getting back to community and helping out the Indigenous boys. I just got my diploma in counselling, so if I can be some sort of a mentor or someone these guys can lean on then I'm all for it," Dugan told The Western Advocate.

"I was actually planning on taking 12 months off before I considered any type of footy, but the convo struck up and one thing led to another.

"I've started missing the game and I'm keen to get back into it and have a bit of fun.

"I will take games seriously, but it's not the high pressure situation that first grade was, day in and day out. I'm looking forward to being able to play footy again."

While having forged a career as a powerful centre in the NRL, Dugan has flagged he will be eyeing opportunities to potentially pull on the No.1 jumper with Orange United.

Currently residing in Sydney, Dugan will make trips out to Orange throughout each week of the season as he plans the next chapter of his rugby league career.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 31: Josh Dugan of the Blues is tackled by William Chambers of the Maroons during game one of the State Of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on May 31, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

"I'd love to have the one back on the back, but I'll play anywhere," he added.

"I'll get a couple training sessions in before the tens and then the season starts end of April."