James MacSmith, AAP
Blake Ferguson took a significant stride forward on his long road back to the NRL on Thursday on his first day at work with the Sydney Roosters.
Dressed in an official club polo shirt with his foot in a moonboot following ankle surgery, Ferguson passed into the Roosters' offices at Moore Park shortly before 9am (AEST) to begin his job as a community and football development officer.
The role is the first stage of his involvement with the premiers that is likely to see him in the tricolours' jersey in 2015.
The move comes almost a year after he was dumped from the NSW State of Origin side, found guilty of indecent assault, a conviction he is appealing, and exiled from rugby league.
Ferguson has said he has struggled in his time away from rugby league and was said to be all smiles as he began a new chapter in his life.
Roosters prop Sam Moa said Ferguson had been welcomed to the club by the playing group.
"It is a good step forward for him," Moa said.
"We wish him the best and it will be a good spot for him at the Roosters. He will certainly get some help here.
"Playing alongside a player of his talents is something to look forward to.
"But we are not looking too far ahead. We have to find some form and confidence this year, but we will definitely be waiting to see if that happens next year."