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Dugan retires after being axed by Cronulla

Josh Dugan's NRL career is over with the former representative star retired after being axed by Cronulla for biosecurity breaches.

Dugan's fate was sealed on Friday afternoon when the Sharks confirmed they had ended his contract two months early, leaving him in limbo.

Already off-contract and struggling for game time, the latest breach all but sealed the 31-year-old's fate after 13 seasons and 215 NRL games.

Dugan took to social media 15 minutes later to confirm he had played his last game and would now look to community work and running his own business.

"So by now I'm sure everyone's seen the news, and for me that ends my time in the NRL," Dugan said.

"What a journey it's been from a scrawny little kid at south Tuggeranong to debuting at 18 for the Raiders (and) playing Origin at 21 against some of the best players in the era.

"While (it) has ended the way it has I wouldn't change a thing, it's been a rollercoaster throughout my career.

"But due to my support network and my own grit and determination never gave up or took an easy option, in doing that I got to represent my country and state whilst playing over 200 games."

One of the best ball-running fullbacks in the NRL when at his peak at Canberra and St George Illawarra, Dugan played 12 State of Origins for NSW and as many Tests for Australia.

But his career will also be remembered for a number of off-field dramas early in his Raiders days, before fighting hard to remain fit and keep his career alive in his latter years.

That fight ended this season when he breached the NRL bubble in June, didn't go to the Sharks' Queensland hub and was then charged with breaking NSW Public Health orders last month.

It prompted Dugan to agree to the Sharks ending his contract on Friday, costing him the last two months of his $850,000-a-year salary.

It means he will pay a price of in excess of $200,000 for his two breaches when factoring in NRL and club sanctions along with the lost wages.

"The Sharks have terminated the contract of Josh Dugan following a second Apollo protocols breach," the Sharks said in a statement.

"The decision was made after a review and internal hearing process, with the club and Josh's management mutually agreeing to the immediate termination."

Dugan has still to face Lithgow Local Court on October 7 after being charged with breaking public health orders for the second of the breaches last month.

Dugan and a friend had been pulled over twice in the state's central west and ordered to return home.

Police at the time alleged the pair told them they were moving to the area and were going to feed animals before saying they were visiting a friend.

© AAP 2021