Storm scandal helped strike Dugan deal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm scandal helped strike Dugan deal

By Ben Horne 11/07/2010 09:59:15 AM Comments (0)

Canberra chief executive Don Furner admits Melbourne Storm's rorting of the NRL salary cap inadvertently allowed the club to re-sign star fullback Josh Dugan.

Changes made to the cap as a result of the Storm's cheating, enabled the Raiders to trump a number of rival offers, and Dugan has agreed to terms and is set to put pen to paper as soon as Monday on a new two-year deal.

The Sydney Roosters had long been tipped to snare the signature of one of the game's hottest talents, but recent increases for marquee players helped Canberra lay a crucial foundation for their future by tying Dugan up until the end of 2012.

"Believe it or not I had a fair idea that he wanted to stay but obviously the money had to be right too, and thanks to him holding out and then the salary cap scandal and the changes to the marquee players has worked in his favour," revealed Furner.

"He backed himself, he played City Country, was man of the match, so I'm watching that going (worrying) ... but we all knew how good he was and he's got a long way to go.

"That's what the changes should be for I believe, if you can't retain kids you've put a lot of time into, it breaks your heart.

"It just took a bit of time dotting the I's and crossing the T's. We just had to get all the terminology right with Ian Schubert (NRL salary cap auditor), everybody's obviously watching the wording of things to make sure it's declared properly so we did all that.

"Thankfully he indicated he was keen to talk again and we could use this marquee money."

Dugan originally stated he would wait until the end of the season to settle on his future, but said he pushed the decision forward because of the pressure he was beginning to feel as one of the team's star players.

A desire to win a premiership with his mates was the clincher in rejecting other lucrative offers, and his announcement came at the perfect time for the Raiders - on the back of defeating Manly 24-22 in a potentially season-turning performance on Saturday.

"Obviously growing up in Canberra my family is there all my friends are there and we've got a good bunch of players coming through," Dugan said.

"We won a comp in the 20s two years ago and with those players coming through I think we can do it again. So we've just got to stick together and keep going forward."

Losing Dugan would have been a crushing blow for the Raiders as they attempt to mould their young side into contenders.

His signature will be key to the club's pursuit of players in the open market, with the team reportedly keen on signing an experienced halfback.

"I went to school with his dad and all of his uncles, he's been one of our juniors for a long time and it would've really hurt us to lose him," Furner continued.

"We're looking at a few people, we obviously have a priority sheet to get that one down is good and there's a couple of others we're looking at."

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