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NRL leaves door open because of Ferguson

In helping to expedite Josh Dugan's Canberra escape, the NRL may have unwittingly provided a exit strategy for every disgruntled player in the game.
NRL leaves door open because of Ferguson
by AAP

By Steve Jancetic

SYDNEY, Sept 3 AAP - In helping to expedite Josh Dugan's Canberra escape, the NRL may have unwittingly provided a exit strategy for every disgruntled player in the game.

And from the outside looking in it appears to be a blueprint good mate Blake Ferguson is following to a T.

Stir the pot. Leave town. Get sacked. Find a new club.

Ferguson is due to front the Raiders board on Friday after failing to turn up for training last week, just days after opting to spend time with friends in Sydney rather than cheer on teammates playing for their finals lives.

The Raiders aren't holding out too much hope of him appearing.

All this to a club which backed him to the hilt as his career threatened to go off the rails, when he joined Dugan atop a Canberra rooftop knocking back Breezers rather than attending a recovery session.

That proved to be the last straw for Dugan as the Raiders tore up his contract.

Within days he was linked to Brisbane, with a rich offer put on the table.

Dugan blew that opportunity in a social media rant in which he called on a female to "end themselves".

No worries, there was still someone willing to give Dugan a chance.

Less than two months after being shown the door by the Raiders, Dugan signed with St George Illawarra.

A month later he was representing NSW, while on August 2 he signed a four-year deal with the Dragons worth an estimated $700,000 a year.

Where exactly is the deterrent for gifted but immature players to behave, honour their contract and repay a club for their faith and perseverance?

Months after seemingly orchestrating his departure from the Raiders, Dugan was a rep player sitting on a lucrative new deal.

The NRL's intervention in all of this? Some counselling prior to the registration of his contract with the Dragons.

Ferguson's situation is slightly different to that of Dugan in that he has an out clause in his contract activated by the firing of Raiders coach David Furner.

Ferguson doesn't need to be sacked to get out of Canberra.

Teams are apparently already lining up to get hold of the NSW Origin representative, with Cronulla, Canterbury and Parramatta all mentioned as possible future homes.

Ferguson does still have an assault charge hanging over his head too.

Pending the outcome of that charge, which he denies, there seems little doubt he will find a new club for next season.

Question is, is the NRL going to do anything to stand in his way?


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