Former NRL bad boy Blake Ferguson has completed his redemption story with a recall to the NSW State of Origin team for this year’s series against Queensland.
Ferguson’s career hit rock bottom when he was sensationally stood down from the Blues team and had his Canberra contract suspended following allegations he had indecently assaulted a woman in 2013.
He was later found guilty and banished from the NRL.
But after rebuilding his life at the Sydney Roosters, the 26-year-old has now added an emotional Blues recall to the Kangaroos debut he earned a fortnight ago, completing his transformation.
Ferguson had just played his first and only Origin game when he was sacked by the Blues.
“It’s been a long twirly (sic) road. I was there with my missus and my little one. We just had a moment, which was good,” Ferguson said on Monday.
Asked whether he thought he would wear the Blues jumper again, he said: “Not early on. I always had confidence in my ability that I could eventually make it back, but to finally be here, I’m really happy.”
The Roosters centre credited his family and his club, who handed him a job in their office in 2014 before tabling him a playing contract last year, for helping him get his career back on track.
“There’s been a lot of people that’s helped me. It’s not just a one man show,” he said.
“There’s a whole group of people that have helped me – my family, my team and my workplace, the people that are around me all the time.
“They’ve been there and had to go through everything with me. I’m just happy and excited to get that opportunity. I lost that opportunity three years ago and I’m excited to get it back.
“The best thing that the Roosters did was they took their time with me and it wasn’t a one problem fix. I had to fix a lot of things in my life, and they’ve done a real good job with that.”
Ferguson is expected to partner another reborn player in former teammate Josh Dugan, with the duo combining for Australia in their recent Test win over New Zealand.