Former NRL star still in jail in Japan, rugby career in tatters, NEC Green Rockets

Blake Ferguson’s hopes of securing another rugby contract appear to be diminishing, with the former NRL star remaining behind bars in Japan.

Ferguson, 31, was allegedly arrested for being found in possession of cocaine in Roppongi on December 30.

Three weeks later, Ferguson remains in jail, with his management trying to bring the Australian home.

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It’s alleged Ferguson, who had ambitions of one day playing for the Wallabies, punched a patron at a restaurant in the red light district of Tokyo and police officers found cocaine on the try scoring machine.

Drug possession charges for substances such as cocaine can carry prison sentences of up to five years in Japan, though suspended sentences are also common.

Should Ferguson be found guilty, he will likely be handed a suspended sentence and ban on entry back to Japan and be deported directly to Australia.

In just 10 words, the NEC Green Rockets, who have former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika as their director of rugby, sacked Ferguson on January 2.

“Regarding Ferugson, the player contract was cancelled on January 2nd,” the club confirmed in a statement on January 3.

Ferguson had featured predominantly off the bench for his new Japanese club.

His alleged arrest and subsequent sacking threatened the Green Rockets’ future, with discussions had on whether or not to shut the club down.

But ultimately it was decided to keep the club in operation.

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The Green Rockets then released a remarkable 506-word statement of shame, expressing their regret and reiterating their desire to stamp out drugs in Japanese culture and rugby.

Cheika’s Green Rockets face Israel Folau’s Shining Arcs side on Saturday, with the sacked Wallabies fullback not named to start after a strong return to professional rugby.

Folau joined the Shining Arcs on a two-year deal last year, two years after he was sacked by Rugby Australia ahead of the 2019 World Cup.

The 32-year-old played 73 Tests for the Wallabies, scoring 37 tries.

Folau scored two tries on debut for his new Japanese club earlier this month and was backed to return as one of the best players in world rugby by the end of the Japanese League One season.

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