Ferguson's fate in Furner's hands, says McIntyre
Blake Ferguson trains at Raiders HQ last week. Photo: Colleen Petch
Canberra Raiders chairman John McIntyre says a decision when to reinstate troubled star Blake Ferguson will be left to coach David Furner.
The Raiders are yet to decide whether they will recall Ferguson for Sunday night's match with the St George Illawarra Dragons at Canberra Stadium.
Ferguson was last week stood down indefinitely and handed a suspended $10,000 fine for his part in the Josh Dugan saga, scoring two tries for Mounties in the NSW Cup last Saturday.
McIntyre said the Raiders' board was satisfied in leaving that call up to the coach after it was Furner who suggested Ferguson be removed from the NRL squad for last Sunday's 36-0 flogging by the Gold Coast Titans.
''We didn't say stand him down, Dave did that in his own right,'' McIntyre said.
''As far as I'm concerned the more football time he has, the better it is for everybody.
''It's penalty enough not being in the NRL, so I tend to leave that to Dave as to what he wants to do.''
The Country and Indigenous All Stars representative would be a handy addition to a Raiders side desperate to move off the bottom of the ladder and win their first game of the year.
However, the club must weigh up what impact Ferguson's return after just one week would have on its tough stance towards changing its culture.
The 22-year-old, who has a string of off-field incidents to his name, was spared the axe because he fronted for training the day after he was pictured drinking alcohol on the roof of his house with Dugan.
Ferguson showed remorse for his actions and still has the backing of his teammates.
While Ferguson's availability remains up in the air, the Raiders are set to be boosted by the return of hooker Glen Buttriss.
Buttriss played more than 70 minutes for Mounties last weekend to show he's overcome an ankle injury.
There are still question marks over prop Brett White (bicep) and second-rower Joel Thompson (shoulder), while five-eighth Terry Campese is at least a couple of weeks away.
Meanwhile, front-rower Tom Learoyd-Lahrs didn't have a case to answer after he was reported for a shoulder charge on Titans' forward Ryan James.