NSW State of Origin players Blake Ferguson (left) and Josh Dugan at the Blues training camp.
NSW State of Origin players Blake Ferguson (left) and Josh Dugan at the Blues training camp. PAUL MILLER

Hodges wants Blues' 'booze brothers' ban

RUGBY LEAGUE: Queensland great Justin Hodges has launched a scathing attack on Blake Ferguson and Josh Dugan, declaring the NSW duo should be banned from State of Origin selection, while also sticking the boot in to Andrew Fifita.

Hodges' comments follow revelations that Ferguson and Dugan indulged in a boozy session in Lennox Head on their day off five days out from the series decider at Suncorp Stadium.

With the series in the balance and an embarrassing loss in game two hanging over their heads, Ferguson and Dugan have been criticised for putting a day of leisure ahead of their teammates.

The Maroons would go on to clinch the series with a decisive victory and Hodges believes the Blues need to take a tough stance on their players, similar to Maroons' coach Kevin Walters' crackdown after an Emerging Maroons camp last year.


Brisbane Broncos NRL player Justin Hodges departs the NRL Judiciary in Sydney on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. Hodges was found not quilty of a dangerous throw charge committed on the Sydney Roosters' Aidan Guerra. (AAP Image/Paul Miller) NO ARCHIVING
Former Queensland State of Origin player Justin Hodges has taken aim at some of the Blues players following their loss in game three of the series. PAUL MILLER

"Those two boys drinking, firstly, that was uncalled for, Origin is hard enough as it is," Hodges told Triple M.

"It's obviously a team sport and for those guys to be selfish and put themselves before the team, they probably deserve to be banned for next year because you can't trust them.

"As a teammate you won't be able to trust them on the football field."

While NSWRL officials are resisting calls for a booze ban to be placed on future Origin camps, Dugan has downplayed his actions, saying the pair had been made scapegoats for the game-three loss.


Josh Dugan of the Blues loses the ball after being tackled by Michael Morgan of the Maroons during State of Origin Game 3 between the Queensland Maroons and NSW Blues, at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Josh Dugan loses the ball during game three of 2017 State of Origin series. GLENN HUNT

But he conceded drinking at the pub may have been a mistake.

"Probably an error in judgement, but we didn't go overboard or misbehave," Dugan told The Daily Telegraph.

"(We) went for lunch and a few beers. Never missed any media commitments and we were home at a respectable hour along with turning up respectable to training."

Hodges' call for Ferguson and Dugan to be penalised for their behaviour came as criticised another of the Blues' side, declaring Fifita "selfish" for not moving to the bench for game three.


Andrew Fifita (left) and Jarryd Hayne (right) of the Blues after losing the 2017 State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Andrew Fifita (left) with his NSW teammates after their loss in the third and deciding State of Origin game. DARREN ENGLAND

It has been reported that Blues coach Laurie Daley intended on benching the prop so he could start David Klemmer for game three before the Cronulla forward argued against the idea.

It's an accusation Fifita denies.

"That just shows how selfish NSW are," Hodges said of the reported Fifita incident.

"If that was a Queenslander, he would be more than happy to do a job on the bench.

"We saw Sam Thaiday go from the starting spot back to the bench because he knows his role and knows what he has to do for the team."

When asked if a Maroons player facing a shift to the bench would kick up a stink, Hodges said: "I don't think anyone would."

"The coach would talk to the senior players first, run it by them and make sure they're comfortable with it and obviously speak to the player first before they announce it to the team.

"You've got to make sure you give them (the player) the reasons why. If it's going to benefit the team.

"I think Loz wanted Fifita to come off the bench to try and change (the momentum) for him. It was selfish."