Rugby League


This is your wake-up call: Lazarus

Raiders legend Glenn Lazarus has called on Blake Ferguson to pull his head in and hopes the Canberra centre makes the most of being spared the same fate as drinking buddy Josh Dugan.

While Dugan was shown the door for repeated infringements of the club's code of conduct, Ferguson was given a lifeline by the club with a suspended $10,000 fine for his latest indiscretion.

The 22-year-old has been stood down from playing indefinitely and will continue the counselling he was undertaking for previous off-field incidents.

Lazarus hopes this latest incident will be enough to kick the talented try-scorer into shape.

''I saw something on TV last night with Blake saying one of the worst things about being a professional footballer is that you can't go out and party like a 19-year-old or a 22-year-old … that's exactly right,'' Lazarus said.

''You get paid big money to do something I'm sure you enjoy doing, so if that's your attitude go and dig ditches. You've got guys relying on you and the actions showed by those boys aren't those of guys with their teammates' interests at heart. They were selfish.''


Ferguson has acquired a long off-field rap sheet since joining the Raiders in 2011, but he has at least showed remorse for his actions this time. Unlike Dugan, he returned to training the day after being pictured consuming alcopops on the roof of his house. Ferguson wasn't injured and wasn't covered by the same alcohol ban Dugan was on.

''I like to think this is a real wake-up call for [Ferguson], that he knuckles down, appreciates he's at a wonderful club with a winning history and takes some ownership,'' said Lazarus, the former Test and Origin prop who was a part of Canberra's first two premierships.

Ferguson was stood down for Canberra's round 12 loss to Souths last year after reporting for training still affected by alcohol.

In December he allegedly spat on patrons at Canberra's Foreshore Festival, and in January left a NSW merging Origin squad camp in Sydney without permission.

Raiders chief executive Don Furner shied away from saying it was his last chance. ''I don't want to come out and say that, he knows what he has to work on,'' he said.