Sharks coach defends Dugan after Tallis questions his future

Cronulla Sharks coach John Morris has launched a spirited defence of outside back Josh Dugan after his future was called into question.

Dugan left the field with a hamstring injury during the Sharks' 40-16 loss to Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park on Saturday in Cameron Smith's 400th NRL game.

The 29 year old played a role in the opening try for the Sharks but twisted awkwardly in a tackle and immediately left the field.

Cronulla coach John Morris has stood up for injured star Josh Dugan after he went down with a hamstring injury.

Cronulla coach John Morris has stood up for injured star Josh Dugan after he went down with a hamstring injury.Credit:AAP

Retired NRL great Gorden Tallis said on Fox Sports Dugan should be considering his future.


"Every time I've watched him play this year he is down a lot and with the welfare of players now you would think that Josh Dugan is at the crossroads," Tallis said.

"He doesn't finish a lot of games. What does he play? About 10 games a season for the Sharks. He would be high on the salary cap.

"There has got to be a discussion around does he want to keep on playing? Everybody plays injured, but every time I watch him play he is always on the canvas.

"It is sad watching him, so you either watch this guy go out and get beaten up every week or he just goes and sits in the crowd like everybody else."

But when told of the comments Morris said it was "harsh" and that people outside the club didn't see the work Dugan and others were putting in to play each week.

"Geez that would be a bit harsh. He left the field with a hamstring injury," Morris said.

"He's been very solid this year. If you look at the centres alone in the game then Josh Dugan is ranked right at the top.

"As far as he's carrying the ball, break tackles and scoring tries he is ranked as high as any centre in the game, when he plays centre.

"I thought he has tried hard for us this year. He's been chopped and changed a bit. He only played 12 games all of last year and hes played all but one game for us this year.

"I've been impressed with him."

Morris added Dugan shouldn't have played but, with his side already missing 700 games of experience in Paul Gallen, Wade Graham and Matt Moylan, Dugan had found a way to play.

"He shouldn't have played today. He was busted. He was busted last week and I couldnt put him to fullback because he was playing with a busted back," Morris said.

"He was needled before he went out today but people don't see that. They don't see what players go Read More – Source

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