Josh Dugan is facing the increasingly likely prospect his move to centre could be a long-term one with St George Illawarra after Dylan Farrell was ruled out for the season with a pectoral injury.
The luckless Farrell only played six games since his move from South Sydney for the 2014 season, after also sustaining the injury in round six against Melbourne.
Dugan’s mid-season move from fullback to centre has proven to be a masterstroke by caretaker coach Paul McGregor, with the former Canberra custodian a key figure in NSW’s State of Origin series win, in the position.
The change has added balance and strike to a Dragons side previously lacking in attack, with Adam Quinlan making a fist of the fullback spot.
Dugan is certain to play out the rest of the year in the line and the 24-year-old concedes his days as a No.1 might be over.
“Ever since ‘Mary’ (McGregor) spoke to me about the move to centre it is something I have enjoyed and I feel I am improving every week,” Dugan told AAP.
“It is a challenge and one I want to make the most of, and if it does become a permanent move then so be it.
“I will probably be there for the rest of the season and then after that I will sit down with `Mary’ and see what he wants to do moving forward and what is best for the team.
“It will be up to ‘Mary’ where he wants me.”
“I’m really trying to make it work. I feel I’m doing a decent job there and hopefully I will continue to get better.”
Dugan said McGregor’s tuition and that of fellow former Kangaroos centre Matt Cooper had greatly helped his transition to centre from fullback.
He also praised fullback Adam Quinlan for making it possible.
“He is a tough player, he reminds me of Preston Campbell,” Dugan said.
“He is a great support player, and he is great under the high ball too and that is what you have seen from him.”
After Sunday’s impressive win over the Wests Tigers kept them in the finals hunt, the Dragons face struggling premiers the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Saturday in round 21 NRL action.
“It is a good test of where we are at,” Dugan said.
“These are the type of games you want to play and want to win this time of year if you want to play in the semi-finals.”