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St George Illawarra Dragons fullback Josh Dugan is adamant there are remarkable things to come from the Red-and-Whites in 2014.

The NSW Blues State of Origin representative is looking to improve every aspect of his game, focusing on fitness, and is determined to excel in his first full pre-season with the Red V.

The 23-year-old is confident the team will be well equipped to begin their campaign with their marquee clash against the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Sunday, March 9.

Im just starting to get used to running with the extra weight in our fitness sessions now, said Dugan.

Because Im bulkier I wont get as many bumps and bruises, being bigger will make it harder for me to be tackled.

I was playing at about 97 kilograms last year; Id like to stay around 100 kilos for playing weight, but well have to just wait and see how the next few weeks of training go.

Preseason has been pretty tough, they are pushing us to our limits and to our credit we are all getting through everything that theyve thrown at us.

We cant really forget about how poorly we played last year and thats not part of the Dragons culture, but we are looking to rectify that next year and thats why everyone is ripping into preseason.

We still have a few weeks of training left before Christmas so we are working hard, then well come back and then things will get serious.

Im hoping not to get any injuries heading into next season, hopefully the few extra kilos Ive gained will help with keeping me injury-free, but Im working with the coaching staff and the physio team at the Dragons just trying to stay fit and healthy.

Im focused on playing good footy for the Dragons and hopefully my form warrants that, but Im not worried too much about the representative teams just yet, preseason is my number one priority at this time.

A full pre-season with the Dragons will help me be more consistent and keep my match fitness up; I missed ten or eleven weeks last year and that was quite disruptive and it took me a few weeks to get my match fitness back.

If I can stay fit and healthy and on the field, doing everything I can, I think I will definitely be better for it.

Im pretty excited about the backline we have this year and in saying that we have quite a few good forwards too; Im really excited about the positive things to come.

Steve Price wouldnt be in the position he is without the full support of every player, he has changed a few things for next season and I think it will be for the better.

Im pretty excited about the draw, Round one is against the Tigers which is a marquee game and its one of our away home games.

Im looking forward to the Warriors away game also, then we have the Heritage Round against Souths which is another marquee game.

Ive watched the ANZAC Day Game many times and I grew up supporting St George so Im pretty excited to finally play in one.

The NRL is a business and the clubs that are involved have a business to run and if bringing the Heritage Round into the Premiership Season boosts ticket sales and memberships then I think its a smart idea and hopefully we can get the support like we do at our regular home games.

We have the roster to make it to the top eight this year and if we click theres nothing stopping us from taking it all the way.

Personally, I want to stay healthy, consistent and injury-free and the rest will fall into place.

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Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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