SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 24: Josh Dugan of the Sharks looks on during the NRL trial match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on February 24, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

Cronulla's Josh Dugan has admitted he is open to a switch to Rugby if he is unable to find a suitable contract to remain in the NRL.

The 31-year-old is out-of-contract at the end of the 2021 season after four years with the Sharks. Dugan has played a total of 214 league games after making his debut in 2009, but has recently been out-of-favour at Cronulla.

Dugan made his return to the senior side in Round 9 after playing in the reserves the previous week. The experienced centre is competing for a spot with recent signing Will Chambers, while young Jesse Ramien has signed on until at least 2023.

Ramien will be on the sidelines for 4-6 weeks after suffering a fractured eye socket in Cronulla's loss to the Panthers, opening the door for Dugan to earn a new contract.

Speaking to Sporting NewsDugan confirmed his interest in making the code switch if he couldn't find a new deal, but admitted he would want to stay in Australia.

"I'd love to stay in Australia, I've said it before, after the last pre-season I felt like I can still give a little bit," he said.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Joshua Dugan of the Sharks in action during the round 25 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Cronulla Sharks at Leichhardt Oval on September 08, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
"I grew up playing rugby before I played league. It's an option, obviously, it'd be one of the last options. But as a player, you've got to look after yourself and your family and get what you can while you can."
In 2017 Dugan came close to joining Japanese rugby following the end of his contract with the Dragons, but opted to remain in Sydney and signed a four-year deal with Cronulla.
Earlier this season, Dugan admitted that he had been in contact with All Blacks stars Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara over a potential union code switch, with a move to the UK lingering as a potential option.
Dugan will line up for the Sharks on Friday night at centre as they take on the sixth-placed Dragons.

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