20 Jun 2013

Canberra winger feels effect of NRL's hardline stance

6:08 am on 20 June 2013

Blake Ferguson's future in the National Rugby League is still in limbo after the Canberra winger was stood down for at least four weeks while he undertakes an extensive alcohol management programme.

Ferguson is the third player in the past week to be stood down for off-the-field conduct, after he was charged with indecent assault over an alleged nightclub incident, and his punishment reflects the hardline stance taken against misbehaving players taken by the NRL's chief executive Dave Smith.

Both the NRL and Raiders will await the outcome of the court case before making a final determination on Ferguson's immediate future.

The move came after he was charged by police with indecent assault in the alleged incident at a bar in Sydney, where he was drinking with former Raiders team-mate Josh Dugan.

Should he be sacked, Ferguson will become the fourth high-profile Raider to lose his contract with the club, after Dugan, Joel Monaghan and Todd Carney, all of whom have resumed their playing careers elsewhere.