Former NSW and Kangaroos star Blake Ferguson slams NRL over post-career struggles

Blake Ferguson has slammed the NRL and RLPA over his post-career struggles, with the former NSW and Kangaroos star still waiting on surgery to fix his damaged nose.

The 32-year-old last played first grade with the Eels in 2021, before heading over to England and Japan to continue his football career.

Ferguson broke his nose more than eight times during a lengthy career and is still suffering from the impact of his injuries. 

Under the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA), players only have 12 months after they finish in first grade to have “any surgeries and rehabilitation paid for that will help fix the injuries they suffered during their careers”, with the likes of Andrew Fifita also impacted by the current ruling. 

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In a series of Instagram stories on Wednesday night, Ferguson took aim at the league’s administration and questioned why he was forced to ‘struggle to sleep at night’ due to injuries sustained on the field. 

“After 15 years in the NRL system, playing 249 games for four NRL teams, winning a grand final, seven games for Kangaroos, nine games for NSW, winning the Harry Sunderland Medal (players’ player for Kangaroos) and breaking my nose over eight times you’d think they would fix it as I dedicated my life and body to the game,” he said. 

“But no I have been told because I went to Japan and England and it has been over 12 months, that I’m not eligible for the medical treatment to fix it.

“What’s the go deadset, [a] person struggles to sleep at night and puts bums on seats for ya’s and you wanna just throw a person to the curb once they are retired. Absolute joke.

““Surely I can be compensated for ruining my face. This wouldn’t have happened if I just played for ya local footy team. You think this came from walking in the park on an afternoon?”

Ferguson received plenty of support on social media from former players including Fifita and Sandor Earl, while current superstars Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo-Carr also weighed in on the issue.

In a re-share of Ferguson’s story, the Rabbitohs fullback said the premiership-winning winger should be looked after by the NRL.

“Regardless of how long you’re out of the game you should be compensated for your dedication,” he said.

“What I’ve witness as a young fulla coming in to a system with you bred showed a lot of professionalism. Love ya bra.

“Bums in the seat for a game that forgets their biggest assets.”

Ferguson’s public condemnation of the NRL’s current rules comes as the game and the Players’ Association are still yet to finalise the latest CBA for both their male and female players. 

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