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Flanagan ready for Dugan's Raiders return

Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan is planning to take on a Canberra side that contains Josh Dugan on Sunday, despite the NSW fullback not being named in the team by Raiders coach David Furner.
Flanagan ready for Dugan's Raiders return
by NRL

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, April 26 AAP - Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan is planning to take on a Canberra side that contains Josh Dugan on Sunday, despite the NSW fullback not being named in the team by Raiders coach David Furner.

Dugan has not played since round three after damaging the AC joint in his shoulder and Furner said this week the round nine clash with Manly was a more realistic target.

However, with NSW spots up for grabs ahead of the team announcement on May 14 for the series opener in Melbourne on May 23, Flanagan believes the stage is set for the 21-year-old to return.

"We're expecting him to pop up there, definitely," Flanagan said.

"They're saying he's planning to come back next week but we're planning for him to turn up so if he turns up we're ready."

The Sharks are looking for a sixth straight victory and go to Canberra Stadium with a decent record in the nation's capital having won three of their last five games there.

The game will also see Todd Carney play only his second game at Canberra Stadium since his dismissal from the Raiders in 2009.

Carney shone on his last visit there for Sydney Roosters in 2010, scoring a try and kicking three goals in a 22-12 win, and Flanagan has been very pleased with the form the controversial 25-year-old showed for Country Origin last week in Mudgee.

"I thought he was really good in the second half, he took it upon himself to get his hands on the ball a bit more," Flanagan said.

"I think in the first half he gave a fair share to Jarrod Mullen but in the second half he took it upon himself to get on the front foot and get the ball in his hands, he didn't wait for other people to give it to him."

Flanagan, who signed a new two-year deal last weekend, also said he was enjoying working with the 2010 Dally M Medal winner.

"He's a quality player, a quality athlete and I know all the boys here appreciate playing with a player of that amount of skill," he said.

"He's surprised me in some areas of his fitness and his strength. He's a really good athlete."


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