Former NRL star Blake Ferguson has been arrested on allegations of cocaine possession in Japan just as he was beginning a new career in rugby union.
Several reports from Japanese media emerged overnight that Ferguson, who joined the NEC Green Rockets in the Japan Top League, had allegedly punched a man at a restaurant.
The report adds that Ferguson was taken to the Azabu police station, with a subsequent police search of Ferguson’s belongings then allegedly revealing cocaine.
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“Blake Ferguson, a contract player belonging to NEC Green Rockets Tokatsu, was arrested on December 30 on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs,” the club said in a statement.
“We deeply apologise for causing a great deal of concern and inconvenience to everyone involved.
“Our team fully cooperates with the police investigation and strives to understand the situation.”
The 31-year old had called time on his NRL career at the end of last season after a 249-game career that saw him play for the Sharks, Raiders, Roosters and Eels. He appeared seven times for Australia’s Kangaroos rugby league team from 2016-17, scoring six tries.
“I can’t wait to meet the fans and all of my teammates and start this journey,” he said in November upon making the switch to Japan.
“Also can’t wait to start doing backflips for you all. Let’s go!”
The off-contract Ferguson was not re-signed by Parramatta, seeing him weigh up other options, with a switch to rugby union and possible Wallabies debut an appealing next move.
“I’m at that point in my career where I’m looking for opportunities,” Ferguson said on Triple M’s Rush Hour last year.
“I feel like I’ve achieved everything, I don’t really have to achieve too much more in the NRL.
“Rugby is something that I do want to try, I played it as a schoolkid… it would be good to try and switch codes and try and create a legacy in that arena.”