NYC star who could ignite Dragons’ attack

first_imgOnly the Knights (305) scored fewer points than the Dragons (341) in 2016, with the Red V making it back-to-back seasons as the second-lowest scoring team in the competition following their 435-point haul in 2015.One man who has no problems finding the line is Dufty, who finished his NYC career as the leading try-scorer in the competition’s history with 55 from 65 appearances in the famous red and white jersey.With 23 tries and 22 try assists last season, as well as 11 tries and 18 assists in 2015, Dufty could be the attacking spark the Dragons need to fight their way back into the Telstra Premiership top eight.The Junior Blues fullback – who also earned a spot on the bench in the NYC Team of the Year – forewent several opportunities to play in the Intrust Super Premiership last season to focus on his Holden Cup duties, but said he’d be willing to spend some time in reserve grade to gain some experience against more-seasoned opposition in 2017.While Dufty would love to don the No.1 jersey from the get-go next year, the youngster knows Dugan will get first crack if he chooses to remain at fullback rather than entertain a move to the centres. “The goal is to play NRL next year. I might not start the year there, but hopefully as the year goes on I’ll get a few games,” Dufty told NRL.com.”I had a talk to Mary (Dragons coach Paul McGregor) about it last year whether he wanted me to play NSW Cup or 20s, and he told me it wouldn’t have really changed what happened next year going forward.”I played 90 per cent of the year in the NYC and I felt I owed it to my teammates to try to get them to that grand final.”Mary talks to me all the time. He gives me lots of feedback. I’m pretty confident that he is going to give me a shot next year.”I’m hoping next year is going to be a big year for me. It really depends on what Mary and Josh Dugan want to do, because he’s really the one person in front of me. He’s a world-class player so it’s really up to Mary and what he wants.”The Penshurst RSL junior is listed at just 80kg – 22kg lighter than Dugan – but doesn’t think his weight would hold him back from making his NRL debut.Where Dugan uses his size to get his side on the front foot, Dufty uses his incredible speed and sleight of hand to trouble opposition defences.”I’m not the biggest guy running around but I find it fun just running around people,” he said.”Mary’s not too fussed about my weight because I just use speed and my skills, but the dietician wants me to put on a few more kilos just to be safe.”Should Dufty bulk up in the off-season, the 20-year-old’s utility value would soar.”Growing up I played in the halves so I wouldn’t mind if Mary gave me a shot wherever and I’d take it with both hands,” he said. “It would mean the world because growing up as a kid – especially in the St George area – you want to make that debut just to make family and friends proud.”last_img read more

The get-out routes Heung-Min Son can take to avoid national service

first_imgTottenham Hotspur could lose superstar forward Heung-Min Son for two years to the South Korean Army, The Sun have revealed.Under Korean law, all men must do 21 months of National Service before their 28th birthday, unless they earn an exemption. Tottenham Hotspur forward Heung-Min Son has been a big hit in the Premier League. If South Korea and Son were to win either the 2018 Asian Games or the 2019 Asian Cup, the Spurs man would be given his exemption by the Army.South Korea want Son, their best player, to be one of their three over-age players in the Asian Games, which takes place in Indonesia between 18 August and 2 September.They won it in 2014 without Son after his then-club Bayer Leverkusen refused to release him for the tournament in the UAE.Son could miss Tottenham’s first four games of next season if he is included in the Asian Games squad.And Mauricio Pochettino’s side played eight matches this season between 5 January and 1 February, which is when the Asian Cup is being held.But the manager would probably see the upside of not losing the attacking midfielder for nearly two years as a gamble worth taking.talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network. Son, 25, reaches that milestone in July 2019 and any military call-up would rule him out of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons.However, as Martin Lipton writes, the South Korean government does give exemptions for sports stars who perform exceptionally at major tournaments.It means the in-form Tottenham ace could get a free pass if his country shines during Russia 2018.South Korea have been drawn in Group F with Germany, Sweden and Mexico — and would need to match their World Cup performance in 2002 by reaching the last four.But with that an unlikely scenario — the national team’s best effort since co-hosting was reaching the last 16 in 2010 — Son has two other get-out routes. 2 2 Heung-Min Son in action for South Korea against Sweden at World Cup 2018. last_img read more