No Dugan for Raiders; Origin unlikely too - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No Dugan for Raiders; Origin unlikely too

Matt Sadler 21/06/2011 04:49:35 PM Comments (0)

Josh Dugan's hopes of a State of Origin recall look all but dashed with the injured fullback not named in Canberra's side to play Parramatta in their NRL match on Saturday.

Dugan sustained a syndesmosis injury to his right ankle in the round 13 match against North Queensland on June 4 and was expected to be out of action for three to five weeks.

While initially hopeful of making a re-appearance for Origin III on July 6 after missing the second match in Sydney, the odds look stacked against him now.

Assuming the fleet-footed No.1 doesn't get a late call-up for the Canberra Stadium clash with the Eels he will not get another NRL game before the Origin decider in Brisbane.

And with Sydney Roosters replacement Anthony Minichiello having a strong game in the Sydney Origin fixture it seems even more unlikely NSW coach Ricky Stuart will recall Dugan.

Raiders coach David Furner gave little indication that his star fullback would get a last minute start.

"At this stage the team I've named is the team I play," Furner told reporters on Tuesday.

Centre Joel Thompson was also omitted from the Raiders side as he recovers from a groin strain, although Furner said he may yet be an 11th hour call-up.

New Zealand international Bronson Harrison has been dropped to the bench after indifferent form while rookie forward Josh Papalii comes into the starting side at second row.

Papalii had a great game in Canberra's last outing, a 25-24 golden point loss to Brisbane in Round 14.

In only his fourth NRL game he scored two of the Raiders' tries.

Furner said the youngster was hard to leave out of the team.

"I just looked at his desperation in defence and he obviously saved a try as well," Furner said.

"He's a good young kid and he gets a good opportunity."

While the Eels have had a similarly frustrating season to the Raiders, with both clubs sitting outside the top eight, Furner liked what he saw of the western Sydney club in an unlucky 22-18 loss to Manly on Monday.

"I thought they were pretty impressive against a top four side," he said.

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