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NRL: Dufty defends Flanagan return

Canterbury Bulldogs star Matt Dufty says the time is right for Kyle Flanagan to return to the side when they face the reigning premiers Penrith this weekend.

The Bulldogs are priced at 9/2 to make the top eight this season and face a daunting task against a Panthers side that have yet to lose a game this year.

Flanagan returns

Flanagan will return at halfback despite the fact he has hardly trained with the first-grade boys and has been playing his footy in the reserves. Suggesting he has no future.

That has kicked off talk in the media that Flanagan has been ‘handed a grenade’ as he is sure to be in for a tough 80 minutes against the best side in the comp.

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Some say it is not the best game to make your return in but Dufty disagrees.

"I read something this morning that he has been handed a grenade. That's pretty unfair," fullback Dufty said. "I don't think Baz (Barrett) would do that to anyone on purpose.

"When is the right time to make a change? I'm sure if you ask Kyle if he wants to play against Panthers he would jump at the opportunity."

Addo-Carr support

Meanwhile new arrival Josh Addo-Carr says he has already pulled him aside for a chat and has every confidence in him ahead of the game.

"He will be our halfback on the weekend and we need that dominant half to step up for us,” Addo-Carr said. "He has done that in reserve grade, you can build a lot of confidence going to reserve grade and coming back to first grade.

"What a way to come back into the team against Penrith."

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