Blake Ferguson has not been recalled to the Kangaroos after his decision to pull out of the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII game on the morning of the flight.
Ferguson was originally selected for the upcoming games against New Zealand and Tonga but was scratched on Monday morning after pulling out of the PM’s game citing a leg injury.
Australian officials were surprised when they received a call from an Eels official to inform them when just a few days earlier Ferguson was medically cleared to play the game and fitted for a jersey.
Their disappointment was several-fold given that Ferguson withdrew from the game at the same time as his teammates were heading to the airport to fly to Brisbane.
It would have been the first time Ferguson was recalled to the national side since 2017 but his name was left out when the official announcement was made on Monday morning.
Mal Meninga made a number of changes in response including calling up South Sydney’s Campbell Graham to the PM’s team for Friday’s game against Fiji and giving Canberra winger Nick Cotric an opportunity to make his Test debut for the main side.
Ferguson was in good form for the Eels in 2019 and in his return to the State of origin this year.
The Eels were shocked when they heard he had withdrawn from the game in Fiji, having been told he was excited to play in the lead-up.