League let me down over nose problems: Blake Ferguson
Blake Ferguson has hit out at rugby league officials for failing to assist with medical costs on his badly damaged nose, claiming the game has thrown him to the kerb after retirement.
Ferguson took to Instagram on Wednesday night to say he had broken his nose more than eight times during his 13-year NRL career, leaving him struggling to sleep at night.
Under the current policy, clubs will cover the gap in medical expenses between a player's private health insurance and the total cost for the first 12 months after retirement.
Ferguson's last game was at Parramatta in 2021, leaving him outside that window after a failed bid to play rugby union in Japan and a stint in the English Super League last season.
"After playing 15 years in the NRL system, playing 249 games for four NRL teams, winning a grand final, seven games for Australia, nine games NSW ... and breaking my nose over eight times, you'd think they'd fix it," Ferguson posted on Instagram.
"I dedicated my life and body to the game.
"But no, I have been told because I went to Japan and England and it has been over 12 months, that I'm not eligible for the medical treatment to fix it.
"What the go? Deadset person struggles to sleep at night and puts bums on seats for yas and you wanna just throw a person to the kirb (sic) once they are retired.
Ferguson's post has received the support of prominent NRL figures including Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr and Andrew Fifita.
"Bums in seats for a game that forgets their biggest assets," Mitchell said.
Fergson's post comes after the Rugby League Players Association pushed strongly in the latest pay negotiations to include longer-term medical support fund for players following their retirement.
Ferguson's case would likely fit into that, with the RLPA believing his circumstances are an example of why the fund needs to exist to help players injured in the NRL or NRLW.
AAP has been told the need for the fund has been agreed to in principle in negotiations with the NRL but the scope, eligibility and funding still needs to be worked through.
The full collective bargaining agreement will also need to be finalised before anything is enacted.