Josh Dugan and partner Amanda Palmer. Photo: Melissa Adams.
Josh Dugan is prepared to miss games to be present for the birth of his first child, with the Canberra Raiders ace revealing his girlfriend is expecting in July.
Dugan told Fairfax Media his partner of one year Amanda Palmer is four months pregnant, and he has never been in a better place on and off field.
The baby is due in late July, and the Raiders are scheduled to play Parramatta on July 20, and the Dragons on July 27.
The ace fullback has set a goal of reclaiming his NSW Origin jersey, with game three set down for July 17.
But the 22-year-old insisted sacrificing football for one of the biggest moments of his life was a no-brainer.
"My girlfriend and I are expecting a baby in July, it's pretty exciting and will be a bit different," Dugan said.
"I'm pretty excited about it, and I'm looking forward to the change in lifestyle and all that kind of thing.
"Being the first child I don't think I'd ever miss it, even for a game. Hopefully it can hold off until a day I don't have to be playing.
''I haven't looked around the dates too much, I just know it will be in season and I've told her she'll be having the night shift."
Despite their finals hopes being on the line, Raiders prop Dane Tilse missed last year's round 23 clash at Penrith to be at the birth of his daughter Ila Rose.
Dugan will have no hesitation in following suit.
"I think it will be motivation for me this year," Dugan said.
"One of my best mates just had a newborn in December, I've been talking to him a little bit, and had the odd chat with Furnsey [Raiders coach David Furner].
"He just said it's different, and that I'll get used to it and handle it."
A child prodigy who cracked first grade as a teenager, Dugan believes his quick transition to the Raiders' highest-paid player will help him adjust to the responsibility of fatherhood.
"I think I've had to grow up a bit faster, even without this happening," Dugan said.
"I was thrown into the twenties when I was 17 and into first grade when I was 18.
"It'll be a lot easier for me to make that transition I think."