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Thread: Ferguson set to join former Wallabies coach Cheika in cross-code switch

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    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
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    Ferguson set to join former Wallabies coach Cheika in cross-code switch

    From FoxSports

    NRL tryscoring machine Blake Ferguson is on the cusp of taking his career to the Land of the Rising Sun.

    Foxsports.com.au can reveal Ferguson will join former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who is the director of rugby at NEC Green Rockets in the Japan Top League.

    Fergusonís management is expected to get the paperwork to confirm his deal within the next 24 hours.

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    Whatís more, former Wallaby Scott Fardy has recently arrived in Japan, where he will be the defence coach at the Japanese club.

    Itís an intriguing twist given Fardy was unceremoniously dropped by Cheika, where he played his last Test against France at the Stade de France in 2016.

    After being overlooked in 2017, Fardy signed with Irish champions Leinster and in his penultimate year was nominated in the short-list for European player of the year.

    Fardy, one of Cheikaís stars at the 2015 World Cup, won the European Heineken Cup and Pro League with Leinster, before retiring earlier this year.

    Meanwhile, Ferguson joins the Rockets, who struggled last season and finished at the bottom of the Top League.

    He will link up with Cheika, who was the coach that oversaw Israel Folauís rise as one of the most dominant rugby players in the world.

    Cheika took over the Waratahs ahead of the 2013 season and one of his first dealings was convincing Folau to join him.

    Folau, who began his rugby career on the wing quickly shifted to fullback, went on to debut for the Wallabies against the British and Irish Lions, scoring a double on debut in 2013.

    He played 73 Tests for the Wallabies, scoring 37 tries.

    Now Cheika, who spent the best part of two seasons with the Roosters in the NRL after calling time on his reign as Wallabies coach at the end of 2019, will try and oversee Fergusonís development and rise in the XV-person game.

    Heís the latest NRL player to head to Japan, which has been a competition Rugby Australia have been unsuccessfully attempting to fend off for years.

    Raiders star Jordan Rapana returned home to Canberra after failing to make it at Japanese heavyweights Panasonic Wild Knights, who are coached by former Wallabies mentor Robbie Deans.

    While Premiership winner and former State of Origin centre Will Chambers also spent time in the competition.

    Ferguson had been on the hunt for a Super Rugby suitor, but given his age he was considered too old for a code switch.

    Although the Top League is a developing competition, he wonít walk over opposition defences or break into teams like he once might have.

    The wing position is one of Japanís strengths.

    Japan backs Kotaro Matsushima and Kenki Fukuoka were two of the wingers of the 2019 World Cup, while an influx of foreign players have made it vastly competitive.

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Very sloppy reporting on Rapana "failing" to make it in the Top League. The bloke became a try scoring machine in NRL after Brain Dead Dick failed to see his talent. Spent most of his Force career at Pally IIRC.

    The Raiders threw him a lifeline after the Top League was abandoned due to Covid.

    A top class player who we let slip.

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    Thank goodness he is not coming to the Force!

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