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Fans aren’t impressed with Buzz Rothfield’s chat with Fergo over Japan arrest



Former NRL star Blake Ferguson has lifted the lid on his month-long stint in a Japanese prison, following his arrest in January on the eve of his first match in the Japan League One.

The 31-year old, who headed overseas after 249 games in the NRL for Cronulla, Canberra, Sydney and Parramatta, was jailed and had a multi-million dollar contract torn up by NEC Green Rockets, after being found in possession of cocaine following an alleged assault at a restaurant in Tokyo.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph’s Buzz Rothfield, Ferguson detailed the ‘really lonely and boring’ 29 days he had behind bars at the Azabu Police station in Tokyo.

“Time goes really slow when you’re locked up for a month,” Ferguson said.

“I didn’t hear anything from Australia because I didn’t have access to a phone. No contact with my family and no contact with my manager.

“It was just me and some Japanese guys who couldn’t speak English. I read a few books but that was about it. The food was pretty ordinary and I got a really bad back.

“Seriously, the mattress would have been a centimetre thick. I could hardly stand up for a few days.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to go back.”

Blake Ferguson of the Eels

(Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

However, he admitted he only had himself to blame for the ordeal.

“I got myself into this mess and there’s no-one else to blame,” Ferguson said.

“I had too much to drink and put myself into a really s—ty situation.

“Other than that I can’t say much about the case but I’m hopeful it will work out okay.”

However, the interview has already received backlash from the public, with Rothfield accused of portraying Ferguson as the victim.

Ferguson remains in Japan awaiting trial, with his day in court scheduled for March 3, before receiving his sentence in the fortnight thereafter.

Japan has some of the world’s most severe anti-drug policies, but Ferguson hopes a guilty plea will allow him to return to Australia once the trial concludes.

“I’m going to plead guilty and hopefully they will show some leniency. It’s important that I accept responsibility,” Ferguson told Rothfield.

“It’s been almost six months since I left… I’ve desperately missed my little girl, my boys and my partner.

“I’m just hoping to be home for my birthday on the 20th of March.”

While Ferguson’s return will inevitably lead to speculation over an NRL return – especially with his replacement as Eels winger, Haze Dunster, suffering a season-ending knee injury in a trial match – his manager told Rothfield no plans are in place.

“I don’t know what interest is out there because we haven’t gone to the clubs,” Ayoub said.

“Our priority is to get Blake home to his family and then take it from there.”



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