NSW's preparations for what could be a series-winning State of Origin game in Brisbane are in disarray after star winger Blake Ferguson was tonight charged with indecent assault.
Police tonight charged Blake Ferguson, 23, with indecent assault following a complaint made against him by a 23-year-old woman after an alleged incident at a Cronulla nightclub.
Ferguson has been granted conditional bail to appear at Waverley Court on July 16.
NSW Police said in a statement that a 23-year-old ACT man allegedly indecently assaulted a woman, also aged 23, while inside a nightclub on Cronulla Street about 10.30pm last night.
The woman immediately reported the incident to police and an investigation was initiated.
Ferguson was interviewed and then charged this evening at Waverley police station, in Sydney's eastern suburbs.
Ferguson, who made his debut as the Blues won the opening game of the series two weeks ago, was with Josh Dugan, who was only named in the Origin team last night in a remarkable turnaround. Dugan was sacked by Canberra at the start of the season following a rooftop drinking session with Ferguson.
Dugan subsequently returned to top-flight football with St George Illawarra and has played so well over the past month tha he was called up by the Blues for Origin II in place of injured NSW fullback Jarryd Hayne.
“Police have made contact with team management regarding an alleged incident involving Blake Ferguson last night,’’ said NSW coach Laurie Daley.
“We have been in contact with the NRL integrity unit and we will continue to (co-operate) with the police investigation. Josh Dugan was with Blake at the time but there has been no allegation made against him. We will continue to update you as the matters continue.”
Both players arrived for team camp this morning and were led upstairs by Blues officials without speaking to the media.
Police from Miranda Local Area Command said they were investigating an alleged incident in Cronulla at 10.30pm last night.
"Police have reviewed CCTV from the location and have interviewed a number of people and inquiries are continuing," a spokesperson said.
Licensee of the 2230 Restaurant and Bar in Cronulla Mall, Scott Matteson, said both Ferguson and Dugan were at the venue.
“We got a request later in the night from police for some footage in relation to an alleged assault, which was provided to police,” Mr Matteson said.
He said he was unaware what the allegation involved but added there were about 70 people in the bar at the time.