Canberra hooker Tom Starling has been charged over an alleged intimidation incident, clouding Josh Hodgson’s expected move to Wests Tigers.
Canberra have downplayed their imminent rendezvous with ex-troublemaker Blake Ferguson, saying the Roosters will boast dangerous players all across the park at Allianz Stadium come Sunday.
Ferguson spectacularly went AWOL from the Raiders in 2013 after a string of off-field indiscretions, leaving the club no choice but to sack the rising NRL star just after he had played in a NSW State of Origin side.
Ferguson has since made a successful return to the NRL for the Roosters in 2015.
The 25-year-old crossed for two second-half tries in Monday’s 20-12 win over Penrith – his first tries for the Roosters in only his third game since ending his exile.
On Sunday he’ll line up against his old club for the first time since his fall from grace.
But he told Fairfax Media on Tuesday that he’ll be treating his first clash against the Raiders like “any other game” – and it appears the Raiders are taking the same approach.
“He’s pretty dangerous, as you’ve seen. But they’ve got a great team all across the park this weekend,” says reserve hooker Glen Buttriss.
And second-rower Jarrad Kennedy, who on Wednesday announced he’s re-signed with the Raiders until the end of 2017, seconded Buttriss’ thoughts.
“There hasn’t been much talk about it,” says Kennedy.
“He’s a great player and we won’t be taking him lightly – but that’s the same for the rest of the team.”
Why Blake Ferguson was sacked by Canberra
NOVEMBER 2012: Escorted from Canberra music festival after allegations he spat on patrons.
MARCH 2013: Skipped a recovery session to drink alcopops on a rooftop with Josh Dugan.
JUNE 2013: Charged and later convicted of indecent assault of a woman at a Cronulla nightclub.
AUGUST 2013: Caught speeding while driving on a suspended license.
SEPTEMBER 2013: Disappeared for several weeks, then sacked.