Dugan endured a testing year in the headlines after a well-publicized drinking session during ahead of the Origin decider lost by his Blues as Queensland sewed up their 11th series win in 12 years.

He also was stood down from playing in Round 25 after missing the Dragons team bus.

But Meninga stayed loyal to the 27-year-old who starred at last year’s Four Nations tournament.

“I’ve been training a fair bit,” Dugan told Newscorp. “I haven’t been going out partying. Not that I do that.

“I want to repay the faith Mal has shown in me by picking me.

“I will be trying to steer away from (alcohol) as much as I can and focus on my footy.”

Dugan signed with Cronulla in the hope of playing fullback but says he would play wherever was best for the team.

“I’m not too sure,” Dugan said. “I think I’ll playing centre for most of this tournament.

“If that’s how Flanno (Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan) sees it then that’s the way it’ll pan out.

“I would still like to give fullback another crack.”