The Josh Dugan centre experiment appears to be over with St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor hinting that the NSW Origin star is set to be moved back to fullback.
Dugan finished Sunday’s demoralising 30-2 NRL loss to Cronulla on the sidelines with a hamstring strain which could see him miss next Sunday’s showdown with South Sydney.
But when he does return, he could find the No.1 on his back again as McGregor desperately searches for a way to spark his side following their limp showing against the Dragons on Sunday.
Despite playing fullback for NSW last year, Dugan was moved from the custodian role to right centre to accommodate new recruit Kurt Mann.
But after the former Melbourne outside back put in a forgettable performance that summed up the Dragons’ effort against the Sharks, McGregor flagged changes to his back three.
“We’ve put a lot of work into (Dugan’s move to centre) in the pre-season and it’s only two games into the competition,” McGregor said.
“But he averaged 160 metres last year from the back and we’re certainly not getting that out of our back three at the moment. So we’ll look at that.
“I’ve also always said that Josh is one of the best, if not the best, defensive fullback in the game.
“And Josh isn’t getting any clean ball but he’s not getting any clean ball because we’re not getting field position because we’re turning the ball over.”
Meanwhile star signing Kieran Foran’s tenure at Parramatta started in promising fashion as the New Zealand Test five-eighth helped pilot them to a 20-16 upset over premiers North Queensland on Saturday.
While Foran looked at times to be struggling with a troublesome hamstring injury that kept him out week one, he had a hand in two of his side’s three tries.
South Sydney continued their early-season purple patch, smashing a diabolical Newcastle 48-6 with halves Cody Walker and Luke Keary starring.
Walker and Keary are locked in a battle to see who will wear the No.6 jersey when halfback Adam Reynolds returns from a broken jaw and did their cases no harm.
Canberra produced a memorable against-the-odds win when they scraped home 21-20 against the Sydney Roosters thanks to a 77th minute Sam Williams field goal.
Despite losing Shaun Fensom (concussion) in the first minute, rookie playmaker Lachlan Croker (shoulder) at halftime and Joey Leilua to the sin bin for 10 minutes in the second 40, they managed to get home for their second victory of the year.
A rampaging Corey Oates spearheaded Brisbane to a 25-10 win over the Warriors on Friday night but it came at a cost with the bustling winger expected to miss up to six weeks with an AC joint injury.
Canterbury winger Kerrod Holland enjoyed a dream debut, booting the match-winning conversion after the siren in their 18-16 comeback victory over Penrith.
The Wests Tigers will face Manly on Monday night in what shapes as a grudge match for Sea Eagles enforcer Martin Taupau against his former team.