Former NRL star Blake Ferguson arrested for alleged cocaine possession in Japan

Rugby union convert Blake Ferguson has been arrested in Tokyo, Japan, for allegedly beating a man before police discovered cocaine in his possession.

The former National Rugby League (NRL) and Australia winger had yet to even begin his career in the 15-a-side sport with Green Rockets Tokatsu when the arrest occurred on December 30.

Ferguson, 31, signed with the Japan Rugby League One outfit—where former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is director of rugby—after being released by the Parramatta Eels at the end of the 2021 NRL campaign.

Japanese media reports said police were called to a restaurant in the Roppongi area of Tokyo on Thursday when Ferguson was accused of attacking a fellow customer.

It's understood the seven-cap former Australia rugby league international was then taken to the Azabu police station, where a search revealed Ferguson was in possession of cocaine.

"Blake Ferguson, a contract player belonging to NEC Green Rockets Tokatsu, was arrested on December 30 on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs," a Green Rockets Tokatsu statement read.

"We deeply apologise for causing a great deal of concern and inconvenience to everyone involved. Our team will cooperate fully with the police investigation and strives to understand the situation."

It's understood the incident occurred in Minato City, a popular nightclub district in Japan's capital.

Along with Cheika, Green Rockets Tokatsu have also taken on former Wallabies and Leinster flanker Scott Fardy as defence coach, strengthening the Australian connection at the club.

Ferguson played a total of 249 NRL games for the Cronulla Sharks, Canberra Raiders, Sydney Roosters and the Eels, as well as nine appearances for New South Wales in the State of Origin series.

He was due to begin his rugby union career with Green Rockets when they kick off the rebranded League One season at home to Yokohama Canon Eagles next Saturday.

New Zealand rugby player Joel Everson was arrested on suspicion of cocaine use in March 2020 when he was playing for Hino Red Dolphins in the division formerly known as the Top League.

The Southland lock tested positive for the illegal drug and was sentenced to 23 days in prison, while Japan suspended all rugby for three weeks, and the Red Dolphins cancelled their remaining fixtures for the season.

Green Rockets Tokatsu may hope for a more lenient judgement considering the new-look League One campaign has yet to even get underway, while Ferguson awaits the outcome of his arrest.

“I’m at that point in my career where I’m looking for opportunities,” Ferguson said on Triple M’s Rush Hour this past September.

“I feel like I’ve achieved everything, I don’t really have to achieve too much more in the NRL.

“Rugby is something that I do want to try, I played it as a schoolkid… it would be good to try and switch codes and try and create a legacy in that arena.”

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