Dugan Ready To Go For Decider
NSW centre Josh Dugan has quashed any suggestions he'll miss the State of Origin decider on July 12 despite picking up a nasty cork just above his right knee in St George Illawarra's 20-10 loss to the Gold Coast Titans last Friday.
The 27-year-old was forced off after 52 minutes and was seen icing the injury on the sidelines, sending shockwaves through the NSW camp after fellow Dragon Tyson Frizell came from the field moments earlier.
Dugan appeared uninhibited by the knock when speaking to NRL.com at the team base in Kingscliff, revealing the injury occurred in the first few minutes of the Round 17 clash courtesy of a collision with NSW teammate Jarryd Hayne.
"It actually happened in the first three minutes when I made that break off Jack de Belin's offload," he said.
"I had a clash of knees with 'Haynesy' and he said he had a pretty sore quad as well the next day so we got each other good. I was right to play on but I got another knock later in the game which locked everything up.
"It was just a couple of corks in the same area and my leg ended up seizing up a bit and I couldn't have full power or anything like that so I think I was a bit of a passenger at that stage and Mary (Dragons coach Paul McGregor) pulled me off."
Dugan – as well as some of his Blues teammates – have been using cryotherapy in a bid to speed up the healing process, with players enduring three minute sessions in -150 degree chambers on top of the work done with their physios.
"I find it beneficial so I try to use it a couple of times a week," he said of the Cryo Chamber.
"It's coming along nicely – I've been icing it and getting physio – and just been looking after it.
"I don't think I'll miss too many training sessions – if any – before Wednesday so I'll just keep looking after it and it should be sweet."
Should Dugan and his teammates shrug off their respective injury concerns, NSW will have used the same 17 players for all three games for the first time since the 1996 series.
The magnitude of the Suncorp Stadium decider hasn't been lost on Dugan who would place a series win on the same pedestal as last year's successful Four Nations tour.
"In '14 when we won the series, I wasn't there for Game One when they won," he said.
"This would be massive for me to be here the whole series and to be a part of all three games and win the series would be the biggest thing in my career along with the Four Nations final.
"I don't think a NSW team has won two games in Brisbane to win the series so it's a chance for us to write history and cement our names in the history books.
"It's not just for us though; we want to do this for the whole of NSW."
This article first appeared on NRL.com