Ferguson doesn't regret his Cronulla jibe
Blake Ferguson is facing Cronulla for the first time in a NRL final since he famously made his quip that the Sharks didn't look like a club capable of winning a title.
Back in 2010 then Sharks coach Ricky Stuart was leaving and 20-year-old Ferguson decided to join him, exercising a clause in his contract to leave if the coach did.
"I want to win a premiership, and also with the things going on in the club, the uncertainty, I just want to be in a stable place where I can concentrate on winning a title, that is what is in my heart," Ferguson said at the time.
"It is nothing personal, I do have an emotional attachment to the club. I just want to win."
Fast forward eight years and the Sydney Roosters winger is into the fourth and final year of his contract with the Bondi Junction club. And he is again on the way out, opting to take up a deal with Parramatta for 2019.
But first he has his heart set on winning the 2018 Telstra Premiership with the Roosters. And he isn't taking a backwards step about his comments directed at the club where he made his NRL debut in 2009.
"I don't regret it," Ferguson said on Monday, ahead of the Roosters hosting the Sharks at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
"It was in 2010… people mature, people grow up. I'm just looking forward to the game this week."
Since Ferguson joined Trent Robinson's team in 2015, after a three-year stint with the Canberra Raiders, the Roosters have not played the Sharks in September.
But it happens this weekend and Ferguson will be opposing one of his great mates and former right-edge representative partner for both NSW and Australia, in Josh Dugan.
"He's going well. It's good to see him back fit and playing footy. He's had an up and down year with injuries," Ferguson said.
They will be on opposite sides of the field as Dugan has played the last two games for the Sharks at right centre. He will be opposing Latrell Mitchell on Saturday night.
"It will be a good battle to watch. If I wasn't playing in the game I'd come and watch that," Ferguson said.
"Both of them are world-class players. It will be an intriguing battle. If I was in the audience I'd be loving that battle."
The Roosters are loving what Ferguson brings. He's scored 17 tries this season, mostly by flying into the corner and landing on his right hip as he grounds the ball centimetres from the touchline.
"I think it will hold up alright – the physios are pretty good here," he said.
"I'm feeling pretty fresh for this time of the year so just looking forward to still improving my game throughout the finals series.
"I've got good coaching staff and players around me. I'm just really enjoying my footy now. I know I'm 28 and not 21 any more so I try and make the most of every game that I play now."
Happy with his decision to join the Eels, who finished with the wooden spoon in 2018, Ferguson spoke about why he was leaving at season's end.
"I made a decision to move on to become a leader. I feel like I can help a few players over there with my knowledge and what I've learned over the last decade.
"I'm looking forward to that next challenge but at the moment I'm looking forward to this finals series and I'm putting everything into the Roosters," Ferguson said.