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Raiders sack wayward star Ferguson

Blake Ferguson

Canberra have confirmed the sacking of Blake Ferguson after the NSW Origin winger failed to front a Raiders board meeting on Friday to explain his erratic behaviour.
Raiders sack wayward star Ferguson
by AAP

By Steve Jancetic

SYDNEY, Sept 6 AAP - Canberra have confirmed the sacking of Blake Ferguson after the NSW Origin winger failed to front a Raiders board meeting on Friday to explain his erratic behaviour.

Having gone AWOL three weeks ago amid rumours he wanted out of the club, Ferguson's two-year deal signed in May this year was torn up, making him the second representative star sacked by the Raiders in 2013 following the axing of good friend Josh Dugan in March.

"The board were left with little choice but to terminate Blake Ferguson's contract, after several breaches of club policy," Raiders chief executive Don Furner said.

"We are sorry that it had to come to this, despite providing ongoing support to Blake with the best welfare and counselling services available to us.

"In the end we were unable to continue doing so given the current circumstances.

"The Raiders will continue to ensure we uphold our strong position in relation to player behaviour and welfare, for our members, sponsors and other stakeholders."

The board's decision to cut Ferguson has expedited what was an expected parting of ways with the club anyway, with a get-out clause in the star three-quarter's contract activated by the sacking of coach David Furner last month.

Asked about Ferguson's sacking, retiring Raiders utility Shaun Berrigan said:

"To be honest, it's probably the best thing for the club," Berrigan said.

"Blake's been nothing but dramas this year for the club.

"I'm sure the club will move on.

"No player is bigger than the team. The team is the most important thing."

The latest development continues a roller-coaster year for the 23-year-old - who earned his first Origin jumper in June.

He earned selection for game two of the series only to be thrown out of the Blues squad following a drinking session with Dugan on the eve of heading into camp with the NSW team.

A assault charge stemming from an alleged incident with a female patron at a Cronulla nightspot on the evening in question is still before the courts.

Suspended by the NRL, Ferguson was taken under the wing of Anthony Mundine, during which time rumours of his desire to get out of Canberra surfaced.

Ferguson returned to play one game against the Sydney Roosters in round 22, but after being ruled out with injury the following weekend, he failed to return to Canberra.

He resurfaced on Wednesday alongside Mundine, the pair conducting a bizarre press conference in which Ferguson sat silent while Mundine fielded questions about Ferguson's future.

Mundine mentioned that he was attempting to talk Ferguson into following him into the ring to take up a career in boxing.

It is believed however that Ferguson will return to the NRL in 2014, with former club Cronulla, Canterbury and Parramatta all believed to be interested in his services.




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