As much as the St George Illawarra Dragons wanted to retain him, Josh Dugan had other ideas, as the utility back has signed a four-year deal with arch rivals, the Cronulla Sharks.
The nine-time NSW representative and seven-time Australian representative will be at the Sharks until the end of the 2021 season.
Regarded as one of the leading outside backs in the game, Dugan heads to the Shire with a lot of expectation as coach Shane Flanagan backs the signing and backs Dugan to perform at a high level for the duration.
“Josh will bring quality and experience to our backline next year and to sign the current Origin and Australian Test centre is a major coup for the club and for our future,” Flanagan said.
“We have a number of exciting young backs coming through our grades and Josh’s experience will be invaluable in helping with their continued development.
Josh has just turned 27 and I am confident his best football is still ahead of him.osh has just turned 27 and I am confident his best football is still ahead of him.”
The added utility value gives Flanagan some options and he said that Dugan is looking forward to playing with his new club in 2018.
“He is looking forward to being part of the development of players such as Val Holmes and as to where he might play for next year, quite simply he is the current Test right centre and who can also play fullback which is a bonus for our club,” Flanagan added.
Equally pleased to have him is current Sharks captain Paul Gallen, who has played alongside Dugan in the representative arena.
“We are wrapped to have him,” Gallen said. “I’ve been lucky enough to play rep footy with Josh over the years and he is a good guy and an outstanding team player.
I’ve been lucky enough to play rep footy with Josh over the years and he is a good guy and an outstanding team player.
“He is going to be an enormous boost to our team and Josh will be a great benefit to the club.”