It’s the match-up that could decided State of Origin I: Josh Dugan versus Greg Inglis.
Dugan has been preferred as NSW’s right centre to Inglis’s long-time interstate guardian Josh Morris.
The St George Illawarra superstar knows he’s been handed one of the most onerous duties on ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night and has leaned on Morris for advice.
Morris, who was cut from NSW’s final 17 on Wednesday, has consistently managed to quell the attacking force of Inglis in the past three years, and played a key role in the Blues’ drought-breaking series win in 2014.
Inglis has been criticised after a slow start to the season for South Sydney, but he’s begun to show strong signs of a return to form, including in Australia’s Test win over New Zealand earlier in May.
Dugan knows the tough task that lies ahead: “I have done it before. It is definitely a challenge I am really looking forward to.
“He’s one of those players that performs under pressure. He’s a big game player. He proved that in the Test and he will be coming out on Wednesday ready to do the same.”
Morris trained with NSW on Thursday before heading back to Sydney to prepare for Canterbury’s NRL clash in Canberra on Sunday, but not before leaving Dugan with advice on how to handle Inglis.
“I have spoken to him and he has been happy to help me out as much as he can,” Dugan said.
“That is just the sort of person that J Moz is. He’s a great bloke, he’s a great player and it’s good to have someone like that around you.
“He has accepted that (his sacking) and he is one of those blokes who doesn’t hold anything against anyone, and wants the best for the team.”
Inglis returns to centre after filling in at fullback in game three in 2015 for the injured Billy Slater.
Slater’s injury means Inglis’ long-term Maroons left-side combination with Darius Boyd is broken up again, with the Brisbane Broncos fullback chosen in the Maroons No.1 jersey.
“I’m looking forward to coming up against Josh, especially with Fergo outside him,” Inglis said.
“Fergo has been out of the Origin arena (since 2013) but I think he showcased what he can do in the Test.”
Dugan will take an elbow complaint into Origin I, but says it won’t affect him.
“I am no stranger to playing through pain. I had a neck problem through much of last year,” he said.
“It’s definitely not the worst thing I have played with.”