Dugan wants to repay faith shown by Kangaroos coach

HAPPY AND HUMBLED: Josh Dugan will be pushing for a starting centres spot for the upcoming World Cup.
HAPPY AND HUMBLED: Josh Dugan will be pushing for a starting centres spot for the upcoming World Cup. SUPPLIED

JOSH Dugan missed the bus for the Dragons's round 25 clash with the Panthers but he said was happy to be along for the ride with Mal Meninga's Kangaroos.

The 27-year-old said he had an "up-and-down season" highlighted by making the headlines for all the wrong reasons for a drinking session five days out from Origin III and being dropped from the Dragons team after he failed to catch the bus for the Panthers game.

Dugan was still picked by Meninga for last month's Prime Minister's XIII team clash against Papua New Guinea but said he was a bit shocked to get the call-up for the World Cup.

"I was a bit surprised by my selection to be honest," he said.

"There were some great players throughout the finals that probably could be here.

"But Mal has shown faith in me and now I don't want to let him down."

Dugan is expected to be named as a Kangaroos starting centre with Melbourne's Will Chambers at the World Cup and if he gets the nod, he says he will give his all for the green and gold.

"It's massive and pretty humbling having someone of the stature of Mal to back me," Dugan said.

"I am looking forward to getting into camp and not letting anyone down.

"I have mixed feelings about the season but it is good to be back with the boys."

The versatile back said he did not consider himself a guarantee to make the starting team in a squad packed with talent.

But Dugan said he would be taking every opportunity in the camp to prove to Meninga he should be one of the two centres in his first World Cup campaign.

"This is something very special, and something I will hold pretty close to me," he said.

"When I have been in the green and gold I don't think I have let anyone down.

"I think that was a big reason for me to be picked.

"I was a bit up and down form-wise this year with a few niggling injuries but I feel I had a strong Origin period.

"Right now I feel I am ready to go.

"One of my goals is to be there at the end and raise that trophy."

Australia will head to Fji next Wednesday for a World Cup warm-up tournament also featuring PNG.

Every team will play each other in a tri-contest with all three matches lasting a total of 40 minutes at Suva's ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

It will mark the Kangaroos' first match in Fiji.

Topics:  josh dugan kangaroos (rugby league) mal meninga rugby league world cup will chambers

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