Former NRL star Blake Ferguson has had his Rugby Union dreams come to a halt in Japan and is now allegedly facing criminal charges.
Just months after signing with the Green Rockets, his Japanese Rugby contract has been torn up – just days before the start of the season.
It was reported that the 31-year-old was arrested in Tokyo on December 30 after police were called out to an altercation between himself and another patron.
He we taken to Azabu police station where he was allegedly found with the drugs — reportedly cocaine.
The Green Rockets have issued a statement confirm Ferguson has been sacked stating that Japan has a “zero tolerance” attitude to drugs and drug charges can carry prison sentences of up to five years.
“It must be said that the efforts to inform newly contracted players of the situation were insufficient, and we solemnly acknowledge that this situation has come to pass,” the statement said.
“We plan to take disciplinary action against the director in charge of sports business promotion and team executives after appropriate measures are implemented.”
“We would like to express our sincere apologies for causing great concern and inconvenience to all concerned at this very important time, when the opening of Japan Rugby League One is just around the corner, and for greatly disappointing the expectations of all those who have supported and helped the team on a regular basis,” the statement continued.
“I would like to express my sincere apologies again. The entire team will make a concerted effort to regain your trust as soon as possible.”
Reportedly, the Green Rockets will now donate a portion of all proceeds from all host games to the league’s effort to eradicate illegal drugs.
The Japanese club takes these matters seriously and have been known to pull teams out of the competition, said one coach in Japan.
The domino effect of Ferguson’s action is said to be spreading to former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who was announced as the director of rugby of the NEC Green Rockets last year who key driver in signing Ferguson.
More to come.
By Teisha Cloos