Firebrand Dragons fullback Josh Dugan has denied he is worried about representative selection for the Country and NSW sides in the coming weeks.
With veteran Manly fullback Brett Stewart impressing upon his return for the Sea Eagles and Jarryd Hayne being a valid option for the custodian role, Dugan – who has had injury concerns of his own in the first month of the season – is solely concentrating on his own game for the Dragons.
"I wasn't too worried about rep footy when I first got here – I just wanted to get back and play good footy and whatever came after that was a bonus so I'm still not too worried about rep footy at the moment, it's just about playing good footy for the Dragons and doing my best," Dugan said.
"There's still four or five weeks before Origin and anything can happen. It's all about doing the little things and show that I'm fit every week and playing the best footy I can."
While Dugan admitted he was still being pained by his knee injury suffered in the pre-season Charity Shield, the fullback said it was more of case of lacking match fitness.
"It's a little bit sore but that's to be expected it's only going to get better as the week goes on," Dugan said.
"It probably takes about two or three weeks when you get a bit of game fitness and your body doesn't get as sore so I'm definitely taking it week-by-week and just trying to do the little things and be quick and ready every week."
While the Dragons were shattered by their last-minute defeat in Melbourne, an upbeat Dugan spoke of his teammates' excitement heading into their game against the Warriors at Kogarah in what will be the rematch of their Round 2 game.
"The boys will take a lot of positives out of last week. To go down to Melbourne and stick it to them and finish the game off with 15 blokes in total and 12 blokes on the field it was definitely a positive for us. We defended our line well; it was just a few tries off kicks that let us down with a few lapses of concentration," Dugan said.
"Everyone's confident though, the best is still yet to come. [We have a] short turn around, playing the Warriors here on Saturday at Kogarah so the boys are definitely excited to get into training this week heading into Saturday."
Despite being only a spectator the last time they played, Dugan isn't fazed by the addition of new coach Andrew McFadden to a Warriors outfit that has been through turmoil of its own over the past fortnight.
"I definitely think the Warriors are a tough side to beat when they're on, and sometimes even tougher when they're not – sometimes you don't know which Warriors team is going to show up. We just have to take the positives out of last week and do our job again on Saturday," Dugan said.
"Each coach is different – they might have a different game plan, a different strategy but we just got to turn up for whatever's thrown at us and hopefully come away with the two points."
In further positive news, Tyson Frizell has signalled his hopes of returning in the next week or two from a foot injury suffered in Round 4. Frizell who has made the move to the front row this year has been sorely missed by the Red V in recent weeks.
Speaking of his move to the middle, Frizell noted that it has been different although he has been enjoying it even if it means being just that little bit sorer the next morning.
"Especially after Round 1 I was thinking it's going to be a long year but it slowly gets easier," Frizell laughed.