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Ferguson left out of Raiders side again

Blake Ferguson

Controversial Canberra centre Blake Ferguson has almost certainly played his last game in the lime green jersey after being left out of the Raiders' team for Saturday's NRL clash with the Warriors in Auckland.
Ferguson left out of Raiders side again
by AAP

By David Barbeler

CANBERRA, Aug 27 AAP - Controversial Canberra centre Blake Ferguson has almost certainly played his last game in the lime green jersey after being left out of the Raiders' team for Saturday's NRL clash with the Warriors in Auckland.

It's the second straight week caretaker coach Andrew Dunemann has overlooked the troubled star since taking over the reins from the sacked David Furner last week.

It's believed Ferguson has been fit to play both must-win matches, indicating his off-field dramas have contributed to his non-inclusion.

With skipper Terry Campese returning from an eye injury, Anthony Milford has earned the nod for the other playmaker spot ahead of Josh McCrone, who play hooker.

Bill Tupou moves from centre to the wing for an injured Sandor Earl (hamstring), with Joel Thompson going from lock to cover at centre.

The 12th-placed Raiders must win against the Warriors and then Cronulla to give themselves a slight mathematical chance of making the finals.

But they'll have to do so without their primary strike weapon Ferguson, who is reportedly looking to activate a get-out clause in his Raiders contract to be closer to family and friends in Sydney next year.

Ferguson has opted to be in Sydney during the past two Raiders games instead of cheering teammates on from the sideline.

News Ltd reports allege Ferguson created a disturbance at a taxi rank in Kings Cross early on Sunday morning, despite telling Raiders' CEO Don Furner later that day he was in Sydney for a family-related matter.

McCrone, who was one of the stand-in captains during Sunday's 36-22 loss to Manly, said he can't see Ferguson playing for the Raiders again this year.

"I don't know what his future will bring him," McCrone said on Tuesday.

"It is what it is. He's chosen his path so he's got to now keep going down that direction, I suppose."

McCrone admitted it was a frustrating situation.

"We've never doubted (Ferguson's) a talent on the field; it's what is off the field that's really been bugging us," McCrone said.

"By the reports ... it doesn't seem like too much has changed.

"Until that starts to change, I don't think we'll see too much difference here."


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