Gareth Widdop has played his last game for the Dragons after dislocating his shoulder in tonight’s game with the Brisbane Broncos.
Widdop, who is facing a lengthy stint on the sidelines, suffered the injury while trying to clean up a kick by Darius Boyd which led to a Jack Bird try. He dislocated the same shoulder twice last year.
The 30-year-old left Suncorp Stadium in agony after dislocating his right shoulder for the third time in 12 months in the 73rd minute of the Dragons’ 25-24 victory over the Brisbane Broncos.
Having declared his intentions to head back to English Super League at the conclusion of the season, Dragons coach Paul McGregor confirmed the worst new possible for Dragon Fans.
“It brings a tear to your eye,” McGregor told the media from the Saints’ dressing room moments after full-time.
“He’s my captain, he’s a person who’s had everything to do about our success the last few years when we’ve been playing well.
“And unfortunately he’s done his shoulder as bad as he did last year and it’s not a good way to finish your career at a club you love.”
McGregor was slightly more cautious at his post-match press conference when asked about the severity of the injury.
“It’s bad,” McGregor said.
“I’m not a doctor but he’s uncomfortable.”
“… It’s dislocated, yeah.”
Widdop has signed with English Super League club Warrington Wolves for next season.
If he requires another shoulder reconstruction he will be sidelined for three-to-six months, meaning it is highly likely thEnglishman’s’s 118th appearance for the Red V was his last.
The injury soured the Saints’ first win of the 2019 campaign as off-season recruit Corey Norman slotted a field goal in the 80th minute to snatch a vital victory.
The coach confirmed live-wire Matt Dufty, who was dropped from the 17-man squad to face the Broncos after coming off the bench in the first two games of the season, will slot straight into the No.1 jersey next Sunday against the Newcastle Knights.
“We’ve got a ready-made replacement in Dufty,” he said.
“You don’t ever want to see your captain and your playmaker who’s been the best player at the club for a number of years lying on a bench with a dislocated shoulder.
“It’s sad and it’s part of the game that we don’t enjoy but we’ve got young Duft who hasn’t played much footy this year who played our whole season at full-back.
“Norman is a left-sided player with a left-foot kick and we’ve got Hunty (Ben Hunt) on the other side so really I’ve got a ready-made replacement there.”