Round 3 match of the NRL Telstra Premiership between the North Queensland Cowboys v Cronulla Sharks from 1300 Smiles Stadium, Towsnville. Sharks Josh Dugan arrives at 1300 Smiles Stadium. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Round 3 match of the NRL Telstra Premiership between the North Queensland Cowboys v Cronulla Sharks from 1300 Smiles Stadium, Towsnville. Sharks Josh Dugan arrives at 1300 Smiles Stadium. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Dugan facing reserves after transfer rejection

Josh Dugan could be earning $800,000 playing reserve grade football after knocking back a deal to sign with a UK Super League club.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the former NSW Origin star "immediately" rejected a two-year offer from the French-based Catalans Dragons in a move that threatens to see him start the season in reserve grade playing for the Cronulla Sharks feeder club the Newtown Jets.

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Josh Dugan doesn’t fancy life in France. Photo: AAP Image/Steve Christo
Josh Dugan doesn’t fancy life in France. Photo: AAP Image/Steve Christo

 

Locked in a five-way battle with Sione Katoa, William Kennedy, Ronaldo Mulitalo and Josh Morris for a wing position with Matt Moylan expected to play fullback, Dugan is facing the real possibility of being paid huge money to play park football.

The Sharks were hoping the utility back would accept the Catalans deal, in a move that would have freed up a massive $1.6 million of salary cap cash - with Dugan contracted to Cronulla for another two years.

It is understood the offer from Catalans was well below the reported $800,000 he is getting at the Sharks.

 

Will the former Origin star accept reserve grade footy? Photo: Zak Simmonds
Will the former Origin star accept reserve grade footy? Photo: Zak Simmonds

 

Still recovering from a leg injury, Dugan is prepared to fight his way back from reserve grade and return to the NRL if he misses out on a round one spot.

Dugan finished the 2019 season in strong form - scoring 11 tries in 23 games.

But the 29-year-old was always going to be challenged for a starting position in 2020 as a result of Cronulla's rich line of young outside backs.

He will only leave the Sharks if a rival NRL club is prepared to match his Cronulla deal.

Dugan missed a team publicity shoot last week.



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