New South Wales Rugby League boss Dave Trodden will investigate the circumstances around a pub visit by key players Blake Ferguson and Josh Dugan on the Friday before the State of Origin decider.
The former Canberra Raiders teammates reportedly spent their day off drinking at Lennox Point Hotel in northern NSW, five days before the Blues suffered a heavy defeat in Brisbane.
The Blues were based in Kingscliff, about an hour’s drive from the hotel, and were given the day to themselves ahead of the crucial clash.
Trodden confirmed he would question team officials in the review of the team’s 2-1 series loss to the Maroons.
“It hasn’t been raised with the team management,” Trodden told News Corp Australia.
“I’d heard the rumours. We do a review of all these things in the immediate wash-up of all Origin campaigns and I’ll be asking questions about it.”
Dugan confirmed to News Corp Australia that 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.”
The Blues’ culture was further called into question on NRL 360 on Friday night by Matthew Johns, the former New South Wales five-eighth labelling the Blues “classless”.
Johns was disappointed that the plan to start David Klemmer ahead of Andrew Fifita in the Origin decider was scrapped.
“It was a good tactical move (to start Klemmer) … that was the right decision,” Johns said.
“If Fifita doesn’t want to swallow it, say ‘see you later’. It’s stunning and it’s symbolic of what’s wrong with New South Wales.”
“Compare that to Billy Slater, (being left out in) game one … he handled that with class. Whereas our side of the fence is classless.”
Blues adviser Peter Sterling confirmed on Friday that the original plan was for Klemmer to start, but did not know why that changed.