Dugan Ready For Inglis

While the Queensland Maroons have a seemingly endless artillery of attacking firepower at their disposal, no player instils more fear into opposition ranks than Greg Inglis. 

The Rabbitohs, Maroons and Kangaroos superstar has terrorised opposition teams - be it at fullback or centre - and has his targets set on NSW Blues counterpart Josh Dugan for the State of Origin series opener next Wednesday. 

While Dugan has made a name for himself with the No.1 on his back, the 26-year-old will have to square-off against Inglis in the relatively unfamiliar centre position.  

He started the year on the right edge for the first two rounds and also lined up at centre for the Kangaroos in the Trans-Tasman Test alongside great mate Blake Ferguson.

The pair is set to rekindle that combination for the Blues in Game One and Dugan is confident they'll be able to work well to handle anything the Maroons throw their way.  

"It's a challenge but one that I'm looking forward to. I've just got to prepare this week and with the help of all the boys around me and that sort of thing I think I can get the job done next week," the Dragons fullback said. 

"I felt like we defended pretty well on that right edge so I'm looking forward to getting into training this week and preparing well. 

"I think the Test helped us. We only trained twice but just having that friendship already [means] you sort of know each other's tendencies and that sort of thing and you're already on the same page so with a few more training sessions I think we'll be right."

Having watched Josh Morris nullify Inglis's attacking prowess over the years, Dugan said he wouldn't hesitate to seek out advice from his teammate on how to best handle the Maroons superstar centre. 

"I've spoken to him here and there but I'm sure I'll speak to him during the week and he'll be helping me out as much as he can," Dugan said. 

"That's the sort of bloke 'J-Moz' is; he's a great bloke, he's a great player and it's good to have someone like that around you."

Morris has been a key member of the Blues' backline over the years, making a name for himself as one of the game's elite defensive centres.

The Bulldogs veteran has done the job for Blues coach Laurie Daley over the years and is ready to take on his adversary again if called upon. 

"If that's my role then I'll try to do that job as best as possible," Morris said. 

"Blokes like 'GI', you can't give them too much time to think or room to move. If I'm the man to do that job then I'll make sure that I train well and prepare well to do my best to limit his impact.

"You've got to try to shut down any of their plays. If you give them too much time or too much room to move then they're going to come up with a play that will lead to a line break or a try or something like that. 

"It's all about limiting their opportunities to create chances and you have to do that with your defence."

While it's widely tipped that Morris will be the unlucky man to miss out on selection for Game One, the Blues veteran said he is just happy to be in camp again for what he believes is going to be one of the important series on record. 

Whether he's picked or not, Morris has full faith in the squad Laurie Daley has assembled.

"It's always nice to be part of the Origin side. I'm not too sure the makeup of the side just yet but I'm sure we'll find that out a bit later in the week," the Bulldogs centre said. 

"We hadn't had any discussions prior but he hasn't called me any other year that I've been in the squad. 

"There's been a lot of speculation about the side that's been picked. We're not sure how he's going to go with the squad that he's picked, but with all the faces we've got here, it's going to be a good side regardless."

Even if Morris does miss out on selection, the 29-year-old will stay play an important part in the team's preparation for the series opener on June 1. 

As one of the senior heads in camp, Morris wants to ensure the younger guys – especially the five debutants – are mentally prepared for the battle both on and off the field. 

"My role is to make sure that during training everyone is nailing what they need to do and our preparation is spot on," he continued. 

"Away from that it's to make sure that the younger guys aren't thinking about it too much.

"It can be all-consuming sometimes and blokes can play the game in their heads before they even get there. It's all about that balance of when to switch on and when to switch off."

Having been a part of NSW's only success in the past decade, Morris would love nothing more than to add to his 13 State of Origin caps and help lift the trophy again after last year's hefty series defeat in Game Three. 

"I was a part of the 2014 series where we won and that was an amazing feeling and something that I want to achieve again," Morris yearned.  

"I think all the boys that were a part of that want to do that again and I'm sure the debutants want to start their careers off with a win as well."

This article first appeared on NRL.com