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St George Illawarra Dragons fullback Josh Dugan is not shy to make the hard decisions ahead of the third State of Origin fixture against the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Wednesday, July 13.

The NSW Blues representative, named in the centres for the encounter, will make his first appearance for his state this series after ruling himself out of selection previously due to an elbow injury.

The South Tuggeranong Knights junior confides it was not a decision made easily but one made for the benefit of the team though that is now behind him as he focuses in on his ninth outing.

"I was in the shower for half hour that morning and was tossing and turning all night because there were so many things going through my head,” said Dugan,

“It was a matter of deciding whether I was to try and play, that kind of thing.

"I thought about it the whole time and I finally came to the decision that if it wasn't right, I didn't want to go out there and only last five or ten minutes and leave the boys one short.

“Luckily Laurie Daley respected my decision in putting the team first.

"I've taken the mindset now where I'll help out anyone if I can given its my ninth Origin now.

" I feel like I'm making that step now to become a leader in the group and I'm really looking forward to that challenge."

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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