Cronulla Sharks star and former Raider Todd Carney, left, and current Raiders star Blake Ferguson, right, with a fan at Clovelly Hotel on Saturday night.
Canberra Raiders star Blake Ferguson has used Twitter to defend suggestions he was fit to take on Manly on Sunday, insisting he never passed a fitness test to play.
Interim Canberra coach Andrew Dunemann revealed after the Sea Eagles match Ferguson was fit to play, a strong indication his injury status wasn’t the reason he was overlooked.
Ferguson was a no-show for the 36-22 loss at Canberra Stadium. He was photographed with former Raiders bad boy and Cronulla Sharks star Todd Carney at Sydney’s Clovelly Hotel on Saturday night.
Canberra Raiders interim coach Andrew Dunemann. Photo: Melissa Adams
‘‘Just so all you raiders fans understand! I never passed a fitness test on my hip flexor, that’s why I never played!’’ Ferguson said on Twitter this morning.
‘‘Didn’t know going out to dinner with mates was such a big problem! Guess this is what it has come to :(.’’
Raiders chief executive Don Furner indicated he intends to discuss the issue with Ferguson when he returns to Canberra on Monday.
Ferguson is meeting with his lawyer Adam Houda this morning in Sydney in preparation for his defence of an indecent assault charge to be heard in Waverley Court on September 3.
Canberra fans have taken to social media to question why Ferguson wasn’t at the game to support his teammates. Fellow injured stars including skipper Terry Campese and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs were at Canberra Stadium watching on.
The former NSW Origin star’s presence at Sydney nightspots on match eve adds further weight to the belief he wants out of the Raiders.
Ferguson’s two year deal he signed in May includes a clause where he can walk should David Furner not be coach.
Furner was sacked last Tuesday, with his unequivocal support of the wayward centre believed to be a major reason why he’s lost the backing of the players.
Ferguson's former side Cronulla are favourites to sign him, with Fairfax Media revealing last Friday Sharks skipper Paul Gallen had phoned him while he was training with Tony Mundine.
Canberra must win its final two matches to have any chance of making finals, but it remains unclear if Dunemann will select Ferguson again this season.
''He had a prior commitment, and he let us know that. Everyone loves Fergo, but we all know that he needs to get off the field right as well as on the field,’’ Dunemann said after the game.
''I wasn't informed [that he could not be selected],'' Dunemann said. ''That was the decision that was made.''