Returning St George Illawarra fullback Josh Dugan says the Dragons’ impressive start to the NRL season has taken the heat off coach Steve Price.
After two disappointing seasons since he took over in 2012, Price was seen as one of the most under-pressure coaches heading into this year.
But Dugan says the Dragons’ 3-1 start – that has them perched at the top of the table – has put those concerns to bed.
The NSW star returns from a knee injury for his first NRL game of the year against South Sydney in the round-five clash at the SCG on Saturday and says he is looking forward to building on his side’s impressive form.
“We have taken a lot of heat off the coaching staff and also the players,” Dugan said.
“The players were copping a lot of flak for the way we performed last year and we knew that wasn’t good enough for the club we have and the history it has.
“We definitely wanted to turn thing around and I think we have with the start we have had and now we have to keep on with it.
“Three from four is a good start and hopefully against Souths if we can come out on top of that is a really good sign.”
Dugan’s return comes against arguably the NRL’s premier fullback in Greg Inglis, a challenge he said he is relishing.
“I’m really enthusiastic, I’ve been itching to get back out there going on six weeks now, I feel fit I feel fresh I’m ready to go,” he said.
“I love playing against big name fullbacks whether it is GI, Jarryd Hayne, Billy Slater. It brings out the best in me. You always want to out-do your opposite number and that will be no different on Saturday.”