"If [my form] warrants a spot in Origin I, I'll grab it with both hands" ... Canberra fullback Josh Dugan. Photo: Getty Images
HERE'S a rarity - an NRL star who is not able to give 100 per cent. Josh Dugan admits he hasn't got it in him.
After making a successful return from shoulder injury against Cronulla yesterday, the Canberra fullback conceded he had just ''90 per cent strength'' in the joint. And that probably won't change this year.
''I think it'll be 90 per cent strength for the rest of the season,'' he said. ''It's just one of those things. There's no ligament there, because I fully ruptured it, but I'm pretty confident in the 90 per cent. As long as I keep it there, it shouldn't be a problem.''
Clearly, Dugan with 90 per cent strength in his left shoulder is still effective. Sharks five-eighth Todd Carney kept the fullback busy with an accurate kicking game, but Dugan cleaned up what was sent his way, and scored a try into the bargain.
If NSW coach Ricky Stuart was watching, he would have been impressed, given it was Dugan's first outing since round three against Sydney Roosters. But Stuart will want to see more. As fate would have it, he will see Dugan play against another contender for the spot, Manly's Brett Stewart, next Sunday.
''If I want to play in Origin I and show that I'm playing good footy, I need to [give] my best against the blokes going for the same spot,'' Dugan said. ''I'm looking forward to next weekend.''
Despite missing the City-Country clash, the traditional State of Origin trial, Dugan remained confident he had time to press for his second Blues jersey. ''I've always said, if I don't make first Origin, I'm aiming for second,'' Dugan said. ''I just need to get back to playing good footy, and doing my best for Canberra. The rest will follow. If [my form] warrants a spot in Origin I, I'll grab it with both hands.''