Dugan, Ferguson cleared by Blues
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.