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Club chief calls for Dugan to state case

The Raiders have a tough decision to make on Josh Dugan on Thursday.

The Raiders have a tough decision to make on Josh Dugan on Thursday. Photo: Colleen Petch

Raiders chairman John McIntyre has called on star fullback Josh Dugan to end his exile from the club and front Thursday's board meeting to explain why Canberra should stick by him.

But the stand-off between Dugan and the Raiders continued on Wednesday, with speculation Dugan has been exploring potential options in the NRL, UK Super League and international rugby union.

Raiders chairman John McIntyre.

Raiders chairman John McIntyre. Photo: Stuart Walmsley

Dugan was seen in Sydney on Wednesday and has not spoken with Raiders officials since Monday, when he had a heated confrontation with Raiders coach David Furner.

Dugan and teammate Blake Ferguson are suspended indefinitely after they skipped training on Monday and were caught drinking on the rooftop of Ferguson's Nicholls home.

Thursday's board meeting will be attended by NRL chief executive David Smith and Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant, who had been invited by the club more than a month ago.

Although the rugby league bosses will not be part of the disciplinary process, it's understood Raiders board members intend to quiz them about whether Dugan and Ferguson would be de-registered from the NRL this season should they be sacked or walk out on the club.

It would appear there is little chance the NRL would prevent either player joining another club given they have not done anything illegal.

As of last night, neither Dugan nor Ferguson had indicated if they would be at Thursday's board meeting.

It would appear that Dugan's relationship with the club and senior teammates has deteriorated to the point that he may have played his last game with the Raiders.

But McIntyre implored both Dugan and Ferguson to present their cases to the board. ''I'd like to think they did, whether they do it on their own or in the company of their managers that's another issue,'' McIntyre said. ''If this is right about personal issues [with Dugan], we would like to hear what those personal issues are and find ways of getting him through it so he can go forward.''

David Furner will address the board, including recommendations from his senior players and an update on the club's internal investigation into the behaviour of Dugan and Ferguson.

But McIntyre suggested the board would not make an immediate decision on the futures of Dugan and Ferguson.

''We just want to hear the bottom-line,'' McIntyre said. ''I wouldn't want to pre-empt what other board members might think.

''In terms of making a decision for the future, I just think [Thursday] is far too soon for that. There's a due process we've got to go through.''

The Raiders sacked star playmaker Todd Carney in 2008 for repeated off-field infringements with alcohol, but McIntyre said Dugan's case was different. ''Todd Carney was over a much longer period of time. I think Josh Dugan's a fair way off from that sort of thing,'' McIntyre said.

Raiders chief executive Don Furner said the club had not received any backlash from sponsors in the wake of this latest off-field incident. ''I've spoken to the major sponsors and they've got full faith in us dealing with players and they've relayed that to me,'' he said.

The Raiders board also want an update on ASADA's investigation into NRL doping from Smith and Grant.

The Raiders were one of six NRL clubs named in the Australian Crime Commissions report into organised crime and drugs in sport. But Don Furner was adamant the Raiders would not face the same scrutiny given to Cronulla and Manly. ''There'll be nothing like what has been remotely suggested of other clubs occur at our club,'' he said.

7 comments

  • Just sack the pair of them and move on, there are plenty of young kids ready and willing to take their spots.
    Draw the line in the sand now, it will cause some short term pain but will end up as a long term gain, slap them on the wrist again and you loose all credibility.

    Commenter
    Bob
    Date and time
    March 14, 2013, 6:44AM
    • When are these guys going to wake up? They are paid huge amounts of money to run, kick and throw a football. Apart from being a bad role model for thousands of idolising kids, why would you risk loosing such a great lifestyle for the sake of a beer? Obviously we need to incorporate some sort of intelligence test into the selection process for our sportsmen. First the Aussie Cricketers and now the NRL players are having trouble understanding basic commands the family dog could follow.

      Sack him I say. There are plenty of tallented younger players waiting to have their turn. Eventually these top level sportsmen will realise it is a privelage not a right to play for high paying clubs and start to act like they appreciate the break they have been given.

      Commenter
      RamRod - ACT
      Date and time
      March 14, 2013, 8:41AM
      • While I agree its most likely time for Dugan to move on, this is yet another Raiders player/staff member that is leaving due to "unresolveable issues" with David Furner,... Remember the "shake up" and review at the end of 2011, EVERYONES position at the club was under review.... apart from David Furners.. Why?. Then we employeed new coaching staff to replace the old, it took 12 months for Justin Morgan (a successful coach in the UK) to again have "unresolveable issues" with David Furner and was sacked under bitter circumstances. Then we lose Bronson Harrison and Daniel Vidot due to personal disagereements with Furner.... And lets not forget, How happy would you be as a player when you only win 4 out of every 10 games and the coach/manager/board are more than satisfied with doing so.... I mean, just look what Sticky Stuart did to the Eels in 1 week..... but success is not important in Canberra Raiders mantra any more....

        Commenter
        Shogunmatty
        Location
        Reality
        Date and time
        March 14, 2013, 8:44AM
        • I'm with McIntyre: hear them out before making any decisions.

          Commenter
          Luca Brasi
          Date and time
          March 14, 2013, 9:05AM
          • At what point does the media start asking questions of the culture of the Raiders? So a player has gone off the rails. It’s not the first time it’s happened. What is really concerning is that it has happened in the first week of the season. What has David Furner and his team been doing with the players in the off season? Why does this continue to happen to our club? I think that it’s time to say bye to the Furners as well as Dugan. The Raiders will never win anything until the culture of the entire organisation is improved.

            Commenter
            Ben
            Date and time
            March 14, 2013, 11:06AM
            • Agreed.... We have lost Bronson Harrison, Daniel Vidot and Justin Morgan (assistant coach) and now Josh Dugan due to their relationship with Furner... As you said, time for a cleanout....

              Commenter
              Shogunmatty
              Location
              Reality
              Date and time
              March 14, 2013, 3:31PM
          • Why not put Duges in the feeder club for a spell?? It's stupid and short-sighted to sack him. (Forgive & move on!) Another club would/will snap him up. It's best not to make rash decisions. Besides, what if we have injury problems down the track and could do with someone with his NRL experience/play-making skills?!!
            I agree with John McIntyre (above) that *Thursday's simply TOO EARLY* for a decision regarding Duges and/or Fergo. A knee-jerk preemptive snap-decision is definitely NOT what the club needs! The other players would no doubt feel more secure too if the club stood by players *through thick AND THIN*!! ...[Note that *Ben Barba is back* (after some time-out)... and so it seems HIS club has been more forgiving/accommodating than the Raiders thus far.]

            Keep Fergo absolutely!! He's here to win an NRL premiership. And if the fans and club stick by him and build up his confidence by affirming his amazing athleticism and strike-power, then that will help him and the team enormously, and help him/the club to achieve his dream. He's been incredibly underrated imo.

            There absolutely HAS to be more *positive feedback* regarding the players and coaching staff if the fans want to see the club steam-roller to-and-through the finals. The talent is here to win the next premiership. [Yet truckloads of negativity from fans after a loss or 2 or more will only make things harder!]

            Bring back Whitey ASAP! Hopefully his knee is now strong, and he's a very good communicator (we need his size/speed and maturity/sense-of-ball play++). I reckon he can make a BIG impact with the forwards this season. Bring on Edrick Lee too. Papalli, definitely. Fensom is a consistent defensive powerhouse! ...I could go on! ..there's just SO MUCH talent and depth to our team right now!!

            Commenter
            20/20
            Date and time
            March 14, 2013, 2:51PM
            Comments are now closed

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