Paul Gallen takes aim at ex-teammates Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson for drinking session

State of Origin: Phil Rothfield discusses a
drinking session by Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson
in Blues camp.

Paul Gallen has had a swipe at ex-teammates Josh
Dugan and Blake Ferguson.

JOSH Dugan and Blake Ferguson’s decision to drink
alcohol during preparations for last week’s State of Origin
decider indicated the value they placed on the game,
according to former NSW skipper Paul Gallen.

Gallen reserved judgement on the pair’s actions pending a NSW
Rugby League investigation into a pub visit they made on the
NSW squad’s day-off five days before the Blues’ 22-6 loss.

The former Canberra teammates reportedly spent
the afternoon and early evening at Lennox Point Hotel
,
about 80km from the team camp at Kingscliff in northern NSW.

Gallen said there was a difference between the players having
two beers at lunch as opposed to drinking all afternoon, but he
challenged the wisdom of consuming any alcohol in the lead-up
to a game.

“After a game, after a hard week of training, you go out and
have a win, you’ve got a long, seven-day turnaround, I’m happy
to have a drink,” Gallen told Sky Sports Radio on
Tuesday.

“But when you’re preparing for a game of footy … I just don’t
do it.

ORIGIN INDEX: Full stats for every player who’s ever played

Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson at NSW training.

Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson
at NSW training.
Source:Getty Images

“I can’t talk about the leadership or culture of the team
because I wasn’t a part of it.

“But … I think a lot of it comes back to individual
preparation and how well you want to prepare for a game and how
much this game means for you.”

Gallen, the most-capped NSW captain whose sole series victory
came in 2014, said the Blues’ preparation for the game in
Brisbane was crucial.

“You get this Origin jersey, it doesn’t make you an Origin
player. You’ve got to earn that jersey and earn that right to
be called an Origin player,” he said.

“And that starts with your preparation.

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“If they went out on an eight-hour bender five days out from an
Origin game, I think it’d be bitterly disappointing for
themselves and the whole team, and certainly (coach) Laurie
Daley.” Dugan confirmed to News Corp Australia he was at the hotel
visiting friends, but said there was no misbehaviour.

“We were with two of our good mates having lunch and a few
beers,” Dugan said. “We were home at a respectable hour and
there’s nothing more to it. It was six days (sic) out from the
game.”

NSWRL boss Dave Trodden will investigate the circumstances
around winger Ferguson and centre Dugan’s actions.

Trodden confirmed he would question team officials in the
review of the team’s 2-1 series loss to the Maroons.

NRL: NRL 360 panel discuss Andrew Fifita’s blow up over
potentially being benched for Origin III.

Originally published as
Gal’s ‘culture’ stab for ex-teammates

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