Dugan not ready for Origin, yet: Bellamy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dugan not ready for Origin, yet: Bellamy

By Bonny Symons-Brown 16/05/2010 03:42:51 PM Comments (0)

NSW State of Origin coach Craig Bellamy has talked up young Canberra fullback Josh Dugan as a future superstar of the game.

But he stopped short of tipping Dugan to be named in the side on Monday.

Backing up from an outstanding performance at City-Country a little more than a week ago, when he was named man of the match, 20-year-old Dugan again showed his talents against Melbourne at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.

The Storm may have come away with a 17-6 win against the Raiders but the margin could have been different had Dugan not managed to get his arms under an attempted try from visiting prop Brett White.

Later in the game, Dugan appeared to have miraculously scooped the ball off his bootlaces to score but the video referee disagreed, finding he'd knocked it on instead.

They're moments that NSW selectors will surely have noticed, before they name their Origin I side at halftime during Monday night's game between Manly and Parramatta.

But Dugan, who is no doubt privately hoping for a belated present following his birthday last week, doesn't want to talk about his chances to play representative footy against Queensland publicly.

He was unavailable for comment after the Raiders loss to the Storm but Bellamy had plenty to say about the rising star.

"I thought we did a pretty good job on him tonight but I think as more and more time passes it's going to be harder and harder," the Melbourne coach said.

"The more experience he gets and the more skills he gets, he's going to be one hell of a player - he's a hell of a player now - but he's going to be one of the superstars of our game I think."

However, Bellamy said it was probably too early for Dugan to make his Origin debut when Newcastle's Kurt Gidley and Parramatta's Jarryd Hayne were still on the scene.

"At the end of the day, they've got a couple of good fullbacks to pick from in Kurt and Jarryd," he said.

"But if something happened to those two guys, he'd probably certainly come into strong consideration as the next in line to them."

Canberra coach David Furner was far more reserved and tried to hose down the hype.

"He's still a young kid, he's been playing some fantastic football, and opportunities to play in the Country side - I think it's great," he said.

The Blues take on the Maroons at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on May 26.

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