Dragons fullback Josh Dugan is set to play his first game of the NRL season next Saturday against Souths after recovering from a knee injury.

St George Illawarra fullback Josh Dugan is set to play his first game of the NRL season against South Sydney next Saturday after recovering from a knee injury.

The former Canberra custodian suffered the injury in the pre-season Charity Shield clash against the Rabbitohs.

Dugan’s return is a huge boost to the Dragons, who have been one of the early season frontrunners despite the absence of the NSW representative.

Dugan was close to a return in the Dragon’s 36-20 loss to Brisbane in Wollongong on Friday night – their first defeat of the year – but coach Steve Price said he will definitely be fit to face the Rabbitohs at the SCG.

“We will welcome back Josh Dugan next week, he was close to playing the Broncos but we decided to give him another week,” Price said.

“He had been running throughout the week, he didn’t do any ballwork with the footy team but he will be ready to go next week.”

Dugan is sure to add another dimension to a side that has become one of the NRL’s best attacking units after their struggles to score points over the last two years.

Brett Morris scored his sixth try of the year in the round-four clash against the Broncos, while a double to the Dragons’ other winger Jason Nightingale made it four tries from four games for him so far this season.

With Dugan back the trio will form one of the most exciting back threes in the competition.

It was the Dragons defence that let them down against the Broncos, especially two tries they conceded to Sam Thaiday and Todd Lowrie on their own goal-line one pass off the ruck.

It has given coach Price plenty to work on ahead of the meeting with Souths.

“We have a good footy team and we will dust ourselves off and get ready for the Bunnies,” Price said.

“We are still learning about ourselves, it has been a very positive start to the season.”