Gallen questions Blues' pre-Origin drinking

 abc.net.au  7/18/2017 12:45:25 AM 

Updated July 18, 2017 10:47:40

Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson's decision to drink alcohol during preparations for last week's State of Origin decider indicated the value they placed on the game, according to former New South Wales skipper Paul Gallen.

Gallen reserved judgement on the pair's actions pending a NSW Rugby League investigation into a pub visit they made on the NSW squad's day off, five days before the Blues' 22-6 loss.

The former Canberra team-mates reportedly spent the afternoon and early evening at Lennox Point Hotel, about 80 kilometres from the team camp at Kingscliff in northern NSW.

Gallen said there was a difference between the players having two beers at lunch as opposed to drinking all afternoon, but he challenged the wisdom of consuming any alcohol in the lead-up to a game.

"After a game, after a hard week of training, you go out and have a win, you've got a long, seven-day turn-around, I'm happy to have a drink," Gallen told Sky Sports Radio.

"But when you're preparing for a game of footy … I just don't do it.

"I can't talk about the leadership or culture of the team because I wasn't a part of it.

"But … I think a lot of it comes back to individual preparation and how well you want to prepare for a game and how much this game means for you."

Gallen, the most-capped NSW captain whose sole series victory came in 2014, said the Blues' preparation for the game in Brisbane was crucial.

"You get this Origin jersey, it doesn't make you an Origin player," he said.

"You've got to earn that jersey and earn that right to be called an Origin player.

"And that starts with your preparation.

"If they went out on an eight-hour bender five days out from an Origin game, I think it'd be bitterly disappointing for themselves and the whole team, and certainly [coach] Laurie Daley."

Dugan confirmed to News Corp 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."

NSWRL boss Dave Trodden will investigate the circumstances around winger Ferguson and centre Dugan's actions.

Trodden confirmed he would question team officials in the review of the team's 2-1 series loss to the Maroons.

AAP

Topics: state-of-origin, rugby-league, sport, sydney-2000, nsw, australia

First posted July 18, 2017 10:45:25

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