14 Mar 2013

Dugan sacked, other clubs circling

7:10 pm on 14 March 2013

The Canberra Raiders have sacked Origin fullback Josh Dugan for repeated breaches of the National Rugby League club's code of conduct.

Those include being photographed drinking while injured with troubled team-mate Blake Ferguson, following Canberra's loss to Penrith on Sunday.

Ferguson was fined almost $13,000 and suspended from playing until he shows progress in counselling.

However Ferguson was spared the axe and chief executive Don Furner refused to say whether the centre was now on his last warning.

Brisbane, Penrith, St George Illawarra and Gold Coast are reportedly circling Dugan, as well as French rugby.

The NRL must first confirm they will register any new contract if Dugan wants to remain in Australia, however it's expected the game won't stand in the former NSW State of Origin fullback's way given his breaches seem to relate more to an attitude issue.

And the Canterbury Bulldogs fullback Ben Barba is poised for a shock return to the NRL as early as round four following his discharge from a health clinic, and an emotional apology to his team-mates.

The Bulldogs kick off round two of the NRL tonight at the Parramatta Eels.