Josh Dugan
Josh Dugan Matt King / Getty Images

Dragons reconsider NRL bad-boy Dugan as possible recruit

ST George Illawarra hooker Mitch Rein says sacked Canberra Raiders fullback Josh Dugan would be a great addition to the Dragons roster.

Dugan initially rejected a lucrative offer to join the red and whites in favour of the Broncos' deal, before Brisbane ended negotiations after a Twitter outburst by the New South Wales representative.

But St George Illawarra could re-open negotiations with Dugan following the potentially career-ending injury to Gerard Beale who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament for the third time against Newcastle on Sunday.

"I've only heard speculation, but he (Dugan) will definitely fit in at our club," Rein said.

"He's a great player, and every club wants great players."

While the Raiders ran out of patience with the 22-year-old, NRL chief executive David Smith last week cleared the way for the troubled star to return to the field.

Dugan met with NRL education and welfare officials for a psychological analysis, which established he had "no major issues" that would prevent him from being contracted by another club.

Not only has Dugan been re-linked with the Dragons, Sharks five-eighth and former bad boy Todd Carney is also believed to be in the club's sights.

Carney is off contract at Cronulla at the end of the season and the ASADA investigation into 14 players at the club has clouded his future in the shire.

What has cleared, temporarily at least, are the storm clouds that had gathered over the Dragons and embattled coach Steve Price after three losses to start the season.

Surprise wins against the Sharks and Newcastle in consecutive weeks have released some of the pressure, Rein saying the team had been "building nicely over the past few weeks".

"Beating Cronulla in front of a big crowd on their home ground certainly brought some confidence back," he said.

"We put in a huge pre-season and we all knew we were capable of playing like this with the roster we've got."

Rein also said he was looking forward to taking on Wests Tigers and their star hooker Robbie Farah at the SCG on Sunday.

"Robbie has been in great form in the early part of the season and that'll be a huge test for me," Rein said.

"They're a great side - they held Melbourne out for a large chunk of the game on Monday night."


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