Josh Dugan returns as NSW chase Origin win

JOE BARTON
Last updated 19:15 16/06/2013
Josh Dugan
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STAYING PUT: Josh Dugan has re-signed with the St George-Illawarra Dragons.

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St George Illawarra fullback Josh Dugan will make his return to State of Origin in game two for NSW after Jarryd Hayne was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Dugan, who earlier this year was sacked by Canberra for repeated infringements off the field, will need to overcome an ankle injury of his own as well as hope he is not cited by the match review panel.

The 23-year-old made his Blues debut in 2011, but had fallen behind Hayne and Manly's Brett Stewart since then - though injuries to those players opened the door this year.

Hayne worked around the clock to prove his fitness for game two, but was unable to overcome the hamstring injury suffered against the Sydney Roosters last weekend while Stewart hasn't recovered from a back injury.

Dugan will be sweating over a lazy, late shot on North Queensland's Johnathan Thurston in Friday night's loss to the Cowboys and will learn his fate on Monday.

"He's a wonderful player Doogs," Blues coach Laurie Daley said.

"I've coached him a couple of times.

"He's a good kid. A very talented kid.

"He obviously had some issues at the very start of the year but ... he's consistently been (the Dragons') best.

"That gives us great confidence."

Daley confirmed Dugan was under an injury cloud, but said he was very confident of lining up for the potentially series-deciding clash.

Wests Tigers youngster Aaron Woods will make his Origin debut after being thrust into the front-row in place of the suspended James Tamou.

He will line up alongside skipper Paul Gallen who remains in the front-row after a starring role in game one.

The Blues hold a 1-0 lead in the series and will be aiming to end Queensland's seven-year dominance when the two teams clash at Suncorp Stadium.

Squad: Josh Dugan, Brett Morris, Michael Jennings, Josh Morris, Blake Ferguson, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Paul Gallen (capt), Robbie Farah, Aaron Woods, Ryan Hoffman, Luke Lewis, Greg Bird. Bench: Andrew Fifita, Trent Merrin, Josh Reynolds, Anthony Watmough.

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