The NRL has rejected an application by the Sydney Roosters to register Blake Ferguson to play in the NRL in 2014. Credit: Robb Cox. Copyright: NRL Photos.
Troubled rugby league player Blake Ferguson took the first step on Wednesday towards a return to the NRL, finalising an off-field role with the Sydney Roosters for the rest of the season.
The exiled 24-year-old was found guilty in December of indecent assault over an incident at a Cronulla nightspot last June.
According to News Corp Australia and Fairfax Media, he spent Wednesday morning at Moore Park, meeting NRL and Roosters officials to plot his path back to rugby league.
While Ferguson has not been cleared to sign a playing contract with the Roosters, the NRL is happy for him to start working for the club in a community and junior football development role.
"Blake will work with the PCYC, the junior leagues club and in our community department," confirmed a Roosters spokesperson.
"It is a community-based role with a number of indigenous programs."
The Roosters have been in discussions with the NRL about Ferguson for some time, and initially wanted to have him registered before the 30 June transfer deadline.
Ferguson, who is recovering from ankle surgery, has not played rugby league for 10 months.
It is understood he will not be allowed to play first grade until next season at the earliest.