Blake Ferguson is arguably one of the greatest signings in Leigh Centurions’ history.
After an ill-fated spell in Japanese rugby union – where he didn’t even play a game following a drugs scandal – Ferguson looked destined to bow out of the game after failing to strike up an NRL deal.
However, Leigh came calling and the rest they say is history.
Ferguson, a man with almost 250 NRL games under his belt, had been chased by Warrington Wolves – Fox Sports reported at the time – but chose Leigh instead – a decision he is now reaping the rewards of after a stunning debut season in the Championship.
Despite being one of the most in-form wingers in the Australian competition, Ferguson was let go by the Parramatta Eels after three seasons, scoring 24 tries in 57 games, and helping the club to the finals in all three years.
A code swap ensued, but after being caught in possession of cocaine and being found guilty of punching a restaurant-goer, the 31-year-old has his contract ripped up by the NEC Green Rockets and he even spent a month in jail.
The Centurions, it seems, were Ferguson’s saviour with The Guardian previously reporting that if another rugby league opportunity didn’t come calling that Ferguson would head into the mines.
What a loss to the sport that would have been! And, it appears as though the former Parramatta Eels, Canberra Raiders and Sydney Roosters star will get his Super League opportunity with Leigh in 2023 – if of course things continue to go as swimmingly for Adrian Lam’s men.
Naturally, Ferguson hasn’t improved the Centurions on his own, with the likes of John Asiata, Caleb Aekins and Nene MacDonald just some of those superb signings that have excelled at the Leigh Sports Village, too.
However, with a running game that few rugby league players can match, the 31-year-old is perhaps the best Championship signing ever made.