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Langlands backs Dugan's signing but with get-out clause

Date

Mike Gandon, Peter Fitzgerald

Lifeline: Dugan may still end up at the Dragons.

Lifeline: Dugan may still end up at the Dragons. Photo: Colleen Petch

Rugby league Immortal Graeme Langlands has urged St George Illawarra to sign Josh Dugan but on one proviso - it's a one-strike-and-you're-out deal.

''If I was the CEO, I'd go and get him but you'd have plenty of clauses in there saying, 'You stuff up, you're out with no money','' Langlands said. ''You put it straight on him and say, 'All right, we'll take you - because he is a good player, he's a very good player - and then if you stuff up, well, out you go and you don't get anything.''

Dugan's future remains in limbo after meetings with the NRL on Tuesday and a reported psychological analysis to determine his state of mind following a series of outbursts on social media. The Dragons remain the only NRL club still officially in the hunt for the talented but wayward fullback, with chief executive Peter Doust confirming that interest this week.

But Fairfax Media has learned the Dragons' enthusiasm toward making a formal offer to Dugan has ''cooled'' in recent days.

Langlands' fellow Immortal and champion Dragons lock John Raper was more reserved in his opinion. Raper said he would back the club's decision regarding any potential acquisition, believing every footballer deserves a chance in life.

''Whoever the Dragons buy, I'm in favour of, more than anything else because I understand what the Dragons do and the amount of study the Dragons put into a person before they buy him,'' Raper said. ''It's not a 60-second decision that they make. It is a decision that goes over months and months. They go and watch the person.

''My judgment comes when he plays the first three or four games.''

Both Raper and Langlands have backed coach Steve Price and were pleased to see the Dragons snap a disappointing three-match losing streak with a win over Cronulla on Saturday night.

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