Josh Dugan's shock NRL move after Cronulla Sharks sacking

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·Sports Reporter
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Josh Dugan has retired from the NRL after he was sacked by the Cronulla Sharks following an alleged breach of public health orders which has landed him in court. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Josh Dugan has retired from the NRL after he was sacked by the Cronulla Sharks following an alleged breach of public health orders which has landed him in court. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Josh Dugan has retired from the NRL after he was sacked by the Cronulla Sharks after he was allegedly caught breaking NSW public health orders last month

The 31-year-old is set to face court on October 7 after he a friend had been pulled over twice in the state's central west and ordered to return home.

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Police at the time alleged they told them they were moving to the area and were going to feed animals before saying they were visiting a friend.

The alleged breach, Dugan's second after an earlier incident in June, earned him a $50,000 fine from the NRL, in addition to any potential fines issued in court.

The Sharks confirmed late on Friday afternoon that Dugan would be released from his contract after playing only six games this season.

The decision to cut Dugan loose now means he will not be paid the final two months of his salary, worth $850,000 a season.

The cost of his two NRL breaches will also now be in excess of $200,000 when factoring in NRL and club sanctions along with the lost wages.

"The Sharks have terminated the contract of Josh Dugan following a second Apollo protocols breach," the club said.

"The decision was made after a review and internal hearing process, with the club and Josh's management mutually agreeing to the immediate termination."

Dugan was already off contract at the end of the season and was not going to be re-signed.

Josh Dugan confirms NRL retirement after Sharks sacking

Dugan took to social media 15 minutes later to confirm he had played his last game and would now look to community work and running his own business.

"So by now I'm sure everyone's seen the news, and for me that ends my time in the NRL," Dugan said.

"What a journey it's been from a scrawny little kid at south Tuggeranong to debuting at 18 for the Raiders (and) playing Origin at 21 against some of the best players in the era.

"While (it) has ended the way it has I wouldn't change a thing, it's been a rollercoaster throughout my career.

"But due to my support network and my own grit and determination never gave up or took an easy option, in doing that I got to represent my country and state whilst playing over 200 games."

Josh Dugan has retired from the NRL after 215 games, electing not to extend his career after he was sacked by the Cronulla Sharks. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Josh Dugan has retired from the NRL after 215 games, electing not to extend his career after he was sacked by the Cronulla Sharks. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

One of the best ball-running fullbacks in the NRL when at his peak at Canberra and St George Illawarra, Dugan played 12 State of Origins for NSW and as many Tests for Australia.

But his career will also be remembered for a number of off-field dramas early in his Raiders days, before fighting hard to remain fit and keep his career alive in his latter years.

That fight ended this season when he breached the NRL bubble in June, didn't go to the Sharks' Queensland hub and was then charged with breaking NSW Public Health orders last month.

With AAP

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