Bby Nathan Davis
St George Illawarra Dragons utility Josh Dugan is impressed by the commitment shown from his new teammates and is excited to see them in action on the field.
The Red-and-Whites are in the midst of their pre-season training program which incorporates several members of the Dragons National Youth Competition team and seasoned players who have newly arrived at the Club.
The NSW Blues representative admits that each new recruit has captured his attention with their overall work ethic and commitment to contribute to the greater playing squad.
“The young boys have been ripping in and training pretty well,” said Dugan.
“Euan Aitken is particular is ahead of some of the older boys in terms of fitness which is good to see.
“All the younger guys are pushing themselves and giving it a good crack.
“We have a few big boys now such as Addin Fonua-Blake, Rulon Nutira and Rory O’Brien who are all striving to achieve their best.
“I think Heath L’Estrange will help out the hookers and maybe even the younger halves players like Drew Hutchison – he just has that much experience.
“Then there’s George Rose who won a Premiership while with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles so he knows the ins and outs of a successful pre-season and winning competition games.
“It’s good to see everyone ripping in.
“We all know what’s at stake this year; there is this massive competition for positions.”
Dugan also attributes the impressive feats of his new colleagues to the new training facilities recently implemented at WIN Stadium.
The Dragons training environment was vastly overhauled in the off-season with new inclusions being an upgraded gym, high-altitude room and cardiovascular area.
“A lot of the facilities have been upgraded so all the boys are pretty excited to get to training now,” said Dugan.
“We have all new gym facilities and an altitude room now, it’s great coming to training and everyone is enjoying it.
“There’s this feeling that we are going to do pretty good next year.”
Dugan, 24, still remains undecided though on where exactly he will be positioned come kick-off next season.
“I’m not too sure,” said Dugan.
“I’ve been considering the first four weeks of pre-season where I’d like to stay, but right now I’m concentrating on my fitness.
“I’ve been doing a bit of training at both fullback and centre and I will probably stick with that.
“I’ll play wherever Mary wants me to play.
“I’m focusing on getting fit again, and getting through the training sessions.
“The bigger goals come after Christmas when you start playing games and the NRL Nines.”