UP FRONT: Josh Dugan (left) says the game against the Rabbitohs will be won in the middle.
UP FRONT: Josh Dugan (left) says the game against the Rabbitohs will be won in the middle. PAUL MILLER

Dugan expecting forwards battle

THE Dragons will be relieved to face a Rabbitohs side minus boom young back-rower Chris Grevsmuhl to kick off round 11 at ANZ Stadium tonight.

Grevsmuhl was released after reportedly not seeing eye to eye with South Sydney coach and strict disciplinarian Michael Maguire.

The 23-year-old Queenslander, regarded as a potential Origin player by some commentators, had been set to join Penrith next season, but will now join the Panthers immediately.

He will bolster the already-impressive back-row stocks at the western Sydney club, teaming up with other rising stars Bryce Cartwright and Tyrone Peachey.

Grevsmuhl scored eight tries in 29 games at Souths, with his spot tonight taken by Paul Carter who also filled the role in last week's 22-20 win over the Eels.

Meanwhile, Dragons fullback Josh Dugan said he believed the game would be won up front.

"I think it is going to be won in the middle. They have a great forward pack, and I think we do as well," he said. "It's going to be a battle of the forwards to see who can come out on top."

Dragons halfback Benji Marshall is out this week with a hamstring injury - Josh McCrone will fill his spot.

Rabbitohs centre Bryson Goodwin will play his 150th NRL game.

The veteran of 72 games for Souths will achieve the milestone playing against the club where his father - the great 'Lord' Ted Goodwin - made his name.

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