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Rams say thanks, but no thanks to Dugan

Former Raider Josh Dugan was seen training with the Woden Rams last week.

Former Raider Josh Dugan was seen training with the Woden Rams last week. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

The Canberra Raiders sacked him, the Brisbane Broncos withdrew a $2 million offer, now Josh Dugan couldn't even land a gig in a trial match with a Canberra local team.

On the cusp of receiving an NRL lifeline with the St George Illawarra Dragons, Dugan trained secretly with Canberra Raiders Cup team the Woden Valley Rams last week in a bid to play a trial match in the local league.

Dugan hasn't played for a month, sacked by the Raiders for going on an alcoholic bender the day after Canberra's round one loss to the Penrith Panthers.

But Dugan shocked Woden Valley Rams players and officials when he showed up to training last Thursday and then asked if he could play in their trial match against the West Belconnen Warriors last Saturday.

The club declined the request, but mainly because they were concerned an injury could jeopardise the 22-year-old's chances of finding a new home in the NRL.

Dugan was set to join the Broncos until Brisbane ended negotiations following Dugan's controversial comments on Twitter where he told a Raiders fan to ''end yourself'''.

St George Illawarra now appears to be Dugan's last option and Fairfax Media understands he is close to agreeing to terms, after Dragons fullback Gerard Beale suffered a season-ending knee injury last weekend.

The NRL is yet to receive a contract request from a club and the Australian Rugby League Commission has given no guarantees that it would be prepared to register Dugan immediately, given his off-field history and the way he left the Raiders.

Dugan has only attended one training session with the Rams and did not show up on Tuesday night.

On a $650,000 deal at the Raiders before he was dumped for behavioural issues, Woden's training base - North Curtin Oval - is about as far away from the NRL high-life as it gets.

Dugan is close friends with Rams player Nathan Smith, and asked the back-rower if he could train with the first grade squad.

Rams coach Cameron Hardy was an assistant coach at the Raiders when Dugan was playing for the club's Under-18 SG Ball side, a squad that also featured current Raiders Jarrod Croker, Jarrad Kennedy and Mark Nicholls.

Rams juniors watched on in awe last week as Dugan participated in the first grade team's training, taking part in contact and wrestling drills.

The Rams were only too happy to allow Dugan to train, believing time on the field will help him confront and beat his issues.

8 comments

  • Only has himself to blame.

    Commenter
    Badger
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    April 10, 2013, 8:03AM
    • If a professional sport like rugby league wont have him, maybe an amateur sport like union might take him. They have taken many rugby league rejects before like Wendell, SBW and Rodgers.

      Commenter
      Muzza
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      April 10, 2013, 9:42AM
      • Union hasn't been amateur for many many many years now.

        Commenter
        Jimmy
        Location
        CBR
        Date and time
        April 10, 2013, 10:59AM
      • @Muzza

        Apologies - but how is Union an 'amateur' sport? It may not have the flair and the following as League does in Australia, but if you look worldwide I think you will find League the more amateur by comparison...

        Commenter
        Roost
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        April 10, 2013, 12:32PM
      • Yeah, the same way rugby leauge has taken union 'rejects' like Ricky Stuart, Brad Thorn, Dally Messenger, Scott Gourley, Andrew Walker, Ray Price, and Michael O'Connor just to name a few....

        Commenter
        John121
        Location
        Singapore
        Date and time
        April 10, 2013, 12:34PM
      • I feel like he should stick to golf or something similar. He's definitely not a team player.

        Commenter
        hippydippy
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        April 10, 2013, 2:11PM
    • If this guy does get a gig with the Dragons then the Raiders should be compensated.

      The NRL MUST introduce a transfer fee of $250,000 to be taken out of the wages of players leaving clubs under similar circumstances (and that the $250k be added to the salary cap of the new club) so that these guys are taught that there are financial repucussions for not honouring a contract.

      Commenter
      blindsided breakaway
      Location
      backothepack
      Date and time
      April 10, 2013, 11:33AM
      • Best suggestion I have seen to a growing problem. There needs to be some form of accountability for their actions and behaviour.

        Commenter
        Gottalarf
        Date and time
        April 10, 2013, 2:19PM
    Comments are now closed

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