Pub lunch a real blue
NSW centre Josh Dugan has conceded a boozy session in Lennox Head five days before State of Origin III was an “error in judgment”.
However, he has claimed he “didn’t go overboard or misbehave” despite drinking with Blues teammate Blake Ferguson for six hours.
“Seems we’ve been made scapegoats,” Dugan stressed.
He has also said he was considering legal action against Ray Hadley after the 2GB commentator alleged Dugan and Ferguson had been too hung- over to complete their media commitments on the Tuesday at the start of the Blues’ Origin II training camp.
The Daily Telegraph revealed Dugan and Ferguson were drinking at Lennox Point Hotel on the Friday before Game Three – a day off for players. Via text message, Dugan told the Telegraph yesterday: “Mate, what I’ve said is the truth. Went for lunch and a few beers. Never missed any media commitments and we were home at a respectable hour along with turning up respectable to training.
“Probably an error in judgment but we didn’t go overboard or misbehave ... as the pub managers have already said. Seems we’ve been made the scapegoats.” the
Dugan explained why he and Ferguson travelled 80km from the team base in Kingscliff to Lennox Head.
“We also went to Lennox because we have two good mates who live there,” he said.
“Didn’t sneak off at all. Got there at 2- 2.30 and left after the joker draw at 7.30- 8.”
Hadley claimed on air yesterday that Dugan and Ferguson were also out drinking together after a team dinner in Sydney before Game Two.
Dugan denied the allegation, saying: “I’m currently exploring avenues to get a retraction of comments from Ray Hadley as none of what he has said is true. If he doesn’t I’m exploring defamation.”
NSWRL chief executive David Trodden has launched an investigation into the drama.
Former NSW skipper Paul Gallen questioned the duo’s actions.
“After a game, after a hard week of training, you go out and have a win, you’ve got a long, seven- day turnaround, I’m happy to have a drink,” Gallen told Sky Sports Radio.
“But when you’re preparing for a game of footy … I just don’t do it.
“I think a lot of it comes back to individual preparation and how well you want to prepare for a game and how much this game means for you.”
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