Paul Gallen questions Blues’ pre-game drinking


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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 NSW 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.

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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.

Former Blues skipper Paul Gallen.
Former Blues skipper Paul Gallen. Photo: Getty Images

“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 on Tuesday.

“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.”

Booze brothers? It was reported on NRL 360 that Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson spent up to eight hours in a pub the ...
Booze brothers? It was reported on NRL 360 that Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson spent up to eight hours in a pub the Friday before Origin III. Photo: Mark Kolbe

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. You’ve got to earn that jersey and earn that right to be called an Origin player,” he said.

“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 Australia 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.

Source

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/rugby-league/state-of-origin/paul-gallen-questions-blues-pregame-drinking-20170718-gxdcjy.html


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