Over the weekend, Josh Dugan copped a knee in the face and a sucker punch to the heart.
“Got to see my lil man today couldn’t be more happier right now! Love him to death. #Jaxon,” Dugan has posted on Instagram.
What a difference four months can make.
The tender image of Dugan cradling his baby son is far cry from the booze-riddled, finger sign throwing shot he posted in March which ultimately saw him banished from Canberra.
Baby Jaxon, who tipped the scales at more than three kilograms, arrived on July 25, when the world was in the midst of baby fever, following the birth of Prince William’s son, George, earlier in the week.
Dugan, who separated from the baby's mother Amanda Palmer following his dismissal from the Raiders, spoke briefly about his newborn during a televised interview.
Speaking to the Ten’s The Game Plan last Thursday evening, 23-year-old Dugan said he was “blessed” to have been chosen to represent New South Wales for the 2013 State of Origin and was glad to be playing football again for the Dragons.
After facing his old club on Saturday night he travelled to Brisbane to visit Ms Palmer and meet his son.
Ms Palmer stood by Dugan during his off-field drama back in March.
The pair split when she was six months pregnant.
She then left Canberra and returned home to Queensland to be with her family.
Like the royal baby, Baby Dugan was also overdue. Ms Palmer was expecting her son to arrive on July 20, which was three days after Origin Three.
At the time Dugan said if she went into labour early he wished to be present for the birth.
Tattoo aficionado Dugan, who has images of his parents and sister inked on his arms and legs, told Fairfax Media back in February that he will also be marking his baby’s birth somewhere on his body.
His most recent inking, which covers the majority of his upper leg, includes the head of a howling wolf.
When asked if he will make an effort to catch up with his former teammates, namely close friend Blake Ferguson, following the Dragons v Raiders match he was quick to confirm his movements.
‘‘I definitely won't be going out after the game. Like I said I'll be shooting up to Brisbane on Sunday to see my son.”