Blake Ferguson may have played his last game for the Canberra Raiders. Photo: Anthony Johnson
Blake Ferguson's Canberra career appears over - the star centre is on the outer with several teammates and the Raiders are desperate to repair the club's culture by taking a tough stance on player behaviour.
The Canberra Times understands interim Raiders coach Andrew Dunemann is set to overlook Ferguson for the rest of the season and the NSW Origin representative is not expected to be named on Tuesday in the team to play the New Zealand Warriors.
It was also alleged on Channel Nine that Ferguson was partying at nightclubs in Sydney until 1am on Sunday and he was advised to leave a Kings Cross nightspot.
Ferguson did not attend the Raiders' 36-22 loss to Manly at Canberra Stadium on Sunday after he was granted leave to be in Sydney for a family matter, reportedly for his father's release from prison. There are just two games left in the season and, despite having two years left on his Raiders deal, Ferguson is expected to use a get-out clause in his contract, making it unlikely he will play for the Green Machine again.
The get-out clause can be activated after the club's board sacked coach David Furner last week.
Ferguson was photographed at the Clovelly Hotel on Saturday night with former Canberra bad boy Todd Carney.
He will meet with Raiders chief executive Don Furner on Tuesday. Ferguson has rejected suggestions he was fit enough to play against Manly, despite Dunemann saying that the 23-year-old wasn't injured.
If Ferguson was drinking alcohol while injured, it's a breach of a team protocol; he has already broken protocols twice in the past two seasons.
It's understood Ferguson wasn't considered for selection last week and will not play this weekend, irrespective of his injury status.
Canberra must win its last two matches of the regular season to be any chance of making the finals.
But even with must-win games approaching, Ferguson is unlikely to win a reprieve.
Raiders teammates were surprised when they learnt of Ferguson's absence at the clash against Manly and believe it's a sign he wants out of the club.
Ferguson used Twitter to defend suggestions he wasn't injured and his decision to be in Sydney, insisting he never passed a fitness test to play.
''Just so all you raiders fans understand! I never passed a fitness test on my hip flexor, that's why I never played!'' Ferguson tweeted.
''Didn't know going out to dinner with mates was such a big problem! Guess this is what it has come to :(.''
The Raiders board was told of Ferguson's trip to Sydney on Sunday and chairman John McIntyre said there was no special treatment for the star.
''I haven't been briefed on it. At our meeting [on Sunday] Don [Furner, Raiders chief executive] gave us a bit of a rundown on the family matter he was attending to,'' McIntyre said.
''At this point in time, we take him at his word. It was a family matter and family always comes first, no matter who it is.
''It's nothing to do with favourable treatment or anything like that, it's just a fact of life. I don't know [if he will play again] it's not for me to comment.''
Raiders assistant coach Brett Kimmorley backed Dunemann's decision, saying Ferguson must buy into the team ethos.
''Andrew made the decision not to play him, which was a good statement or stance from the new coach,'' Kimmorley said.
''You play a team sport, you would expect you'd want to be hanging around your teammates and cheering them on, and wanting to be back in the team. The kid can play, but if he's going to be a drama or affect our culture … we have to sit him down and say you either abide by the rules and join our team, or you sit on the sideline.''