Blake Ferguson is one of the true redemption stories in the NRL, and a NSW VB Blues call-up is a reward for the relentless hard work and dedication he has put in since debuting for the Sydney Roosters in 2015.
His chequered past is no secret to any Rugby League fan, but largely thanks to the support of his immediate family, he managed to get his life off the field on track.
In addition, his two major representative jerseys in the past month are testimonial to his performances for the Roosters.
“All of my immediate family has played a big part,” Ferguson told NSWRL.com.au.
“My missus and my little fella played a big role, and the Roosters staff too.
“I’m just really happy.”
Aside from the continued backing by his family and support group, Ferguson will aim to repay the faith of VB Blues coach Laurie Daley, who famously sacked him from the 2013 State of Origin camp after playing in the opening match.
He has not donned the Blue jersey since, but that lone experience in 2013 made him hungrier to do it all again.
“[Origin] was awesome, it’s a similar coaching staff, so I’m really excited to be back in with a lot of familiar faces that I’ve played with before,” Ferguson said.
“You always want to play for your state, I’ve played once before and I’ve been working my backside off to get this opportunity again over the past two years, so to finally get a reward and be named in the squad is another achievement.
“You look forward to playing these games, it’s the pinnacle of Rugby League and I can’t wait to get out there and rip in with the blokes beside me.”
While his focus is solely on conquering Queensland on 1 June, Ferguson can’t wait to mix it with the relatively new VB Blues squad for the next nine days before the all important clash at ANZ Stadium.
The players fly to Coffs Harbour today, where they will stay and train at for the remainder of the week, while thoroughly enjoying each other’s company.
“I’m looking forward to getting into camp and just mixing it with the guys and getting to learn who everyone is,” Ferguson said.
“That’s what it’s about in these camps, you get to know blokes that you don’t know really well so I can’t wait.
“I’m pretty excited, I can’t wait to get into camp and hang out with the boys and really rip in next week on Wednesday.”