Du­gan, Fer­gu­son cleared by Blues

Townsville Bulletin - - RUGBY LEAGUE -

THE NSW Rugby League has cleared Josh Du­gan and Blake Fer­gu­son of be­ing drunk five days out from last week’s State of Ori­gin de­cider.

The gov­ern­ing body’s board will meet to­day ahead of a sched­uled re­view into this year’s Ori­gin se­ries ca­pit­u­la­tion in the com­ing months.

How­ever the or­gan­i­sa­tion has moved quickly to deny a num­ber of is­sues across the three camps, in­clud­ing Du­gan and Fer­gu­son be­ing drunk dur­ing a six- hour visit to a Len­nox Head pub on a rest day.

It also cleared An­drew Fi­fita of any wrong­do­ing in re­gards to talk he’d fought with coach Laurie Da­ley to be a starter for Ori­gin III, and down­played cul­ture con­cerns within the squad.

How­ever it’s the im­pas­sioned de­fence of Du­gan and Fer­gu­son which will raise the most in­ter­est, af­ter a num­ber of peo­ple were spo­ken to about the mat­ter.

“On the ba­sis of a num­ber of in­de­pen­dent ac­counts of the cir­cum­stances, the NSWRL board is sat­is­fied that the play­ers were not drunk,” the state­ment read.

“They were not act­ing like ‘ clowns’ and they were not so af­fected by al­co­hol that they were ‘ hid­den’ the fol­low­ing morn­ing in a cover- up.”

The gov­ern­ing body also ar­gued the pair had no is­sue train­ing the fol­low­ing morn­ing. The body also de­nied claims Fi­fita had fought against Da­ley’s plans to start David Klem­mer in his place for the se­ries de­cider at Sun­corp Sta­dium, while rel­e­gat­ing him to the bench.

In­stead, it said no such con­ver­sa­tion had ever been had with Fi­fita through­out the du­ra­tion of the camp.

“It is en­tirely false to sug­gest that on the morn­ing of the game ( or at any other time dur­ing the camp) Laurie had a con­ver­sa­tion with An­drew in which he ad­vised An­drew that he was start­ing on the bench,” it said.

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