On May 19, Australian international Josh Dugan signed a four year deal worth $3 million with last year’s premiers Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. Cronulla has started the 2017 NRL season strongly and is expected to make the semi-finals at the very least. Even before the 2017 NRL season started, many experts had named Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks as one of the favourites for the title. By making the team stronger, the signing of Josh Dugan has further increased Cronulla’s chances of retaining the title. But the question still remains: Was the signing of Josh Dugan necessary?
Not many people doubt that the signing of Josh Dugan by Cronulla is one of the major recruitment coups of the season. People taking part in NRL betting believe that Dugan will bring solidity to Cronulla’s backline. Many experts believe that 27 year old Josh Dugan is about to enter his peak years, which is good news for the coach, owner and fans of Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. The quality of Dugan can be gauged by the fact that he was named in the NRL all stars team in 2011 and 2012.
In addition to adding solidity to Cronulla’s backline, the signing of Josh Dugan will help the development of Cronulla’s youth. An exciting bunch of young backs are coming through the grades at Cronulla, and it is expected that the experience of Josh Dugan will help with their continued development. As for Dugan’s place in the team is concerned, it has been confirmed that he will play in the centre. He is expected to become the most expensive three-quarter in the NRL.
According to media reports, Josh Dugan wanted to play as a fullback. However, Shane Flanagan, the coach of Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, has assured the team’s current fullback Valentine Holmes that he will have the No.1 jersey for the next ten years. This means that Dugan will slot into the right centre position, a position that’ll soon be vacated by Brisbane-bound Jack Bird. A question many people are asking is why Dugan left Illawarra even though he knew that he won’t play as a fullback. Well, first of all, Dugan has increased his earnings by making the shift. Secondly, and most importantly, he will have an important role in team that has a significantly better chance of winning the 2017 NRL as compared to St George Illawarra. After all, the best rugby players play the game to win titles and accolades.
Not many people will argue that Josh Dugan has the quality and experience to take Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks to new heights. Moreover, if he stays at Cronulla long enough, Dugan will help in the development of the team’s young stars. While most Cronulla fans are happy with the signing of Josh Dugan, there is a minority that thinks the signing was unnecessary. To answer the original question, we will know whether or Josh Dugan was a good signing for Cronulla only after the 2017 National Rugby League (NRL) season has ended.