Dugan's NRL preference remains at No.1
Next Game: The Season has finished
16 Mar 2018
Cronulla's Josh Dugan says Valentine Holmes had been judged prematurely at fullback, but admits the No.1 jersey is still his favourite to play in at NRL level.
Josh Dugan says Valentine Holmes had been judged unfairly before being shafted as Cronulla fullback one game into the season, but admits it's his own preference to play No.1.
Dugan had a mixed night on Thursday in his first game at fullback for Cronulla after Holmes had been moved to the wing against St George Illawarra.
The former Dragon had plenty of involvement for the Sharks before he grassed a try early in the second half that could have proved the difference in the four-point loss.
Dugan trained at centre for most of his brief first pre-season at Cronulla, after having also played on the edge at the end of last season with St George Illawarra and Australia during the Rugby League World Cup.
But while the 27-year-old insisted he was still happy to play where coach Shane Flanagan needed him, he conceded his heart had always been with the No.1 jersey.
"I love it. It's always going to be my preferred position, I think," Dugan said.
"Even just at training, I had a ball at training. I was out the back having fun again getting my hands on the ball.
"I think I didn't hurt myself in any way (against the Dragons). I went out there and played as hard as I could and I do that every week.
"It's just going to be one of those things. I have proven I can play both, so I think just keep working on it at training between me and Val and see what happens."
Dugan has played 133 of his 155 NRL matches as custodian, and also half of his 12 State of Origin matches there for NSW.
His move to the back came after a week of conjecture about the Sharks' No.1 jersey.
Holmes last year failed to live up to his previous wing prowess in his first season at fullback, and had a disappointing night out against North Queensland in the Sharks' round-one loss.
He was also quiet back on the wing on Thursday night, running just four times for 34 metres.
But Dugan said he'd made a point to speak to the 22-year-old during the week, pointing out he saw him as a dangerous fullback in the future who was was judged prematurely after round one.
"I pulled him aside and said I had his back," Dugan said.
"I thought one week - I don't think you can judge anyone on one week.
"He brings the ball back with courage. He's one of the best ball-runners in the game, I feel.
"Fullback's not just a position you can get thrown into and learn overnight. He's just got to keep working on it and he will get there."
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Last Game: The Sharks won against the Manly Eagles 40 - 16 at Toyota Park, Australia (5428 days ago)
game results here|
| Cronulla Sharks Season 0 Stats (All games)|
| Total Games Played
| Away Games
| Away Wins
| Home Games
| Home Wins
| Total Tries:
| Total Goals:
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1995 Winfield Cup, 1996 Optus Cup, 1997 Superleague Telstra Cup, 1998 NRL Season, 1999 NRL Country Carnival, 1999 NRL Season, 1999 NRL Finals, 2000 NRL Season, 2000 NRL Finals, 2001 NRL Pre-Season, 2001 NRL Season, 2001 NRL Finals, 2002 Pre-season games, 2002 NRL Season, 2002 NRL Finals, 2003 NRL Season,
| Leagues the Cronulla Sharks are in|
Andrew Pierce, Brett Kimmorely, Chris Beattie, Chris McKenna, Colin Best, Danny Nutley, David Peachey, David Tangata-toa, Dean Bosnich, Dean Treister, Jason Stevens, Karl Lovell, Matthew Johns, Matthew Rieck, Nick Graham, Paul Franze, Paul Gallen, Paul Mellor, Phil Bailey, Preston Campbell, Sam Isemonger,
Adam Dykes, Brent Grose, Damien Mostyn, Jason Ferris, Luke Branighan, Luke Grose, Luke Stuart, Martin Lang, Matt Daylight, Matt Rogers, Nathan Long, Paul McNicholas, Ronald Prince, Russell Richardson, Scott Murray, Sean Ryan, Shannon Donato,
Andrew Ettinghausen, Blaine Stanley, Brett Howland, Mitch Healey, Paul Donaghy, Tim Maddison,
Saturday, 10 May, 2003
Sunday, 4 May, 2003
St George 28|
Sunday, 20 Apr, 2003
Saturday, 12 Apr, 2003
Sunday, 6 Apr, 2003
Sydney City 40|
Sunday, 30 Mar, 2003
Sunday, 16 Mar, 2003
Sunday, 29 Sep, 2002
Saturday, 21 Sep, 2002
St George 24
Friday, 13 Sep, 2002
Sydney City 32|