Sharks coach says he hasn’t heard from Dugan since COVID-19 breach

Sharks coach Josh Hannay says he’s disappointed with Josh Dugan and that he hasn’t heard from the out-of-favour centre since his breach of the NRL’s COVID-19 biosecurity rules.

Dugan was hit with a $25,000 fine and forced into 14 days isolation by the NRL this week after a photo of him dining at a restaurant in Potts Point last weekend was posted on social media.

Out of favour Sharks star Josh Dugan.Credit:NRL Photos

Hannay said the club was less than impressed with Dugan’s defiance of the NRL’s biosecurity rules, which puts him out of selection for the next two weeks.

“As a club, we are extremely disappointed by those actions,” Hannay said.

“Every single player, staff member and employee of the NRL right now has to understand the bigger picture and the importance of their actions and doing the right thing and how delicate the situation is at the moment we need everyone doing the right thing.”

The photo of Josh Dugan (left) posted on Instagram which landed the Sharks star in hot water.Credit:Instagram

Sharks halfback Shaun Johnson also spoke for the first time since signing with the Warriors for next year.

Alongside Dugan and Aaron Woods, Johnson was also told by incoming coach Craig Fitzgibbon that he wouldn’t be re-signed for next year.

Johnson said he couldn’t have envisioned going back to the Warriors at this stage in his career.

“If I’m being honest I didn’t ever see it happening,” Johnson said. “My exit from there a couple of years ago happened nearly just as fast as going back has.

“It all sort of came about really quick and I didn’t even get the chance to play a game in front of the fans that have supported me for all those years and say bye. I didn’t even get to go in and say goodbye to my teammates at the time. There was certainly an element that I’ve had in the pit of my stomach of unfinished business.”

Dugan’s COVID breach wasn’t the only in the NRL. The Bulldogs were forced to name to face up against Manly on Saturday, with Dylan Napa, Brandon Wakeham, Aaron Schoupp, Corey Waddell and Sione Katoa all unavailable due to attending a hotel which later was named as a COVID-19 exposure site.

The five players attended Coogee Bay Hotel and Royal Hotel in Bondi on June 20 during the COVID-19 restrictions, with the club fined $50,000 for failing to properly inform them of the protocols.

All five players also received individual fines ranging from $250 to $5000.

Captain Josh Jackson said the three new players coming into the squad were ready for the challenge.

“The coaches have had to juggle training about a bit. But there are no excuses for us. They are all fantastic players and they really deserve their spots in the team. The boys have got behind them,” he said.

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