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Josh Dugan: Is he really worth the trouble?

Does Josh Dugan bring enough to a team in an on-field capacity to allay concerns about his off-field troubles? I'm not so sure he does.


Josh Dugan was axed from the St George Illawarra Dragons side who faced the Penrith Panthers for ‘disciplinary reasons.’ Ever since, there has been plenty of rumours circulating about what the New South Wales centre might have done.

The wheels on the bus go round and round

Reports claimed that Dugan had missed the team bus and that senior players had decided, alongside head coach Paul McGregor, to drop him from the side. It’s not a huge stretch to imagine this to be the case as Dugan has a history littered with dumb decisions, irresponsible behaviour and an almost unbelievable lack of respect for his employers. Just ask the Canberra Raiders, or even his current club, St George, who have had enough troubles with the centre previously. The management of the New South Wales Blues are another who have to deal with Dugan’s indiscipline.

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Dugan is at a level of arrogance and disregard where he doesn’t even take preparations for State of Origin seriously. The whole episode of Dugan and fellow bonehead Blake Ferguson having beers and a bet just five days out from one of the biggest Origin clashes in recent memory has been covered comprehensively. But looking back, it really is astonishing how the man can continually waste his natural ability.

When teammate Jason Nightingale fronted the media in the wake of the Dragons’ narrow win over the Panthers, he claimed that Dugan was apologetic and still willing to fight for the cause. That seems unlikely given the lack of commitment he has shown throughout his career.

A litany of stupid decisions

Whether it’s Bacardi Breezers on the roof of a building or having a potential big-money move to the Broncos canned for stupid social media behaviour, the one consistent in Dugan’s career has been a stunning streak of irresponsible, poorly-timed, decisions.

With that in mind, is Dugan a worthwhile addition to an NRL side?

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At one point in his career, Dugan was a sensationally talented footballer. That much is shown by his Origin and international caps. But that time has been lost in a plethora of dumb decisions alongside injuries.

He won’t be a Dragon beyond 2017, thanks to handsome offer from the Cronulla Sharks, and there will be plenty of Sharks fans who are happy with his acquisition. But there will also be those questioning investing in a player who has constantly let down his teammates.

Do you think Josh Dugan as a player is worth putting up with his off-field troubles and injury history? Let us know in the comments and poll below.

  1. Poll: Do you think Josh Dugan as a player is worth putting up with his off-field troubles and injury history?

    1. Yes, Dugan is a great player
    2. No way, he's not worth it
    145 votes
    Share Your Result

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Daniel Lang

Rugby League & Cricket editor at RealSport.

Daniel is a passionate advocate for the game of rugby league and the development of the sport across the world and, as such, writes with a zeal and determination to spread the gospel of the game.

A huge fan of cricket, football, NFL, Tennis and Supercar racing in Australia, Daniel can quickly find himself a casual fan of just about any sport after putting his mind to watching it.

Daniel is also one-half of the hugely successful podcast 'Panthers Weekly with Strawbs & Teach' where he talks all things Panthers Weekly while he also hosts the current affairs show 'the Strawbs Show' and the 'Summer of Cricket with Strawbs & Shnuu' as well as appearing on the Sydney FC covering 'Nothing But Blue Skies' podcast occasionally.

Josh Dugan: Is he really worth the trouble?

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