AAP Rugby

Dragons to monitor Clune nose injury

By AAP Newswire

New St George Illawarra halfback Adam Clune will have his nose injury monitored in coming days before hopefully getting the all-clear to debut on Monday.

On the same day he was named to make his debut by under-fire coach Paul McGregor, Clune copped a whack during training on Tuesday.

Photos emerged on social media late on Tuesday of Clune sporting what appeared to be a broken nose, but the club is confident of a quick recovery.

"He did cop a bit of a whack on the nose and will have a bit of follow up over the next few days," a Dragons spokesman said.

"He's a tough kid though, and still very much looking forward to his debut."

The injury scare comes with the Dragons coming under heavy fire for beginning their season with three consecutive defeats.

The mounting pressure forced veteran James Graham to declare the squad "owe it" to McGregor to save his Dragons coaching career and their season.

Hailing McGregor as a "great man manager" and "quality coach", Graham believes the onus is on the players to dig the winless Dragons out of a deep hole.

The Dragons have won just two of their past 11, and four of their past 21, games.

"We owe it to him. We owe it to him to do better," Graham told NRL 360.

"He's had a hand in every single one of those players being in this squad.

"So we owe it to him to do it. He's a quality coach and we've been down this road before. Nobody cares about this club more than him. He cares so much."

Last week's inept shutout loss to the Warriors has forced the besieged coach to split misfiring halves pairing of Corey Norman and Ben Hunt this week.

The Dragons face fellow battlers Canterbury in a cellar-dweller affair, with Norman moving to fullback to allow Clune to debut at Bankwest Stadium.

"I wouldn't look at it as panic. I would look at it as keeping people accountable and some people have earnt their way into the team," Graham said.

"There's stuff that we've spoken about in terms of breaking (that negative feedback)- that's private. That's within the group.

"We are down on confidence and we get that by winning and it's everyone's job to do the little things.

"I can't compliment the whole coaching staff enough for the amount of effort and time and detail that they have put in.

"But it's just not transferring on to the field. We owe it to them to be better."

Graham accepts the Dragons won't solve their woes overnight.

"I don't think it's an easy fix. It's going to require a lot of hard work from the playing group," he said.

"It's got to be done as a team. It's not going to be done by individual brilliance."