By Rikki-Lee Arnold, Daily Telegraph

JILLAROOS playmaker Allana Ferguson has been forced into an early retirement, after tearing her left ACL for the fourth time.

Ferguson, who has been one of the faces of women’s rugby league over the past few seasons, revealed the news to The Courier-Mail this week after suffering the injury last November at training.

Having torn the ligament in the same knee when she was 15, 17 and 20, Ferguson knew she could not afford to do the injury again but heartbreak struck when she changed direction while running.

Allana Ferguson will continue with her media career on The Sunday NRL Footy Show.

“As soon as I went down, I knew that was the knee I couldn’t do – and it was gone,” Ferguson said.

“In my last knee reconstruction, they used an Achilles tendon as the graft instead of just a normal hamstring graft.

“The graft they put in is three times the size of a normal one, and as big as what my bone could hold.

“The surgeon told me at the time that if I do it again, they can’t fix it because there’s no bone left to screw into.

“I’m 25, and I’ve been forced into an early retirement because they can’t fix it.”

The Sunday NRL Footy Show presenter said there was a week where she could not bear to leave the house as she came to terms with the news.

Allana Ferguson (pictured with Maddie Studdon) still wants to be involved with the game. Picture: John Appleyard

But Ferguson, who has played rugby league since before she was five, has always been a positive person and didn’t want to dwell on her forced retirement for too long.

With the help of her parents Nina and Brett, and her partner Guy McDermott, the high school teacher was soon back on her feet and chasing new goals.

“It’s hard to tell anyone that loves something that they can never do it again,” she said.

“It’s really hard at the time because your whole life is ripped down and torn to pieces.

“There was a week where I didn’t leave the house but as soon as that time was over I knew there was one of two ways I could look at it.

“I know what it means, so I might as well put all of my energy into something I can do. I still want to be involved in the game.”

Ferguson will continue to work with Channel Nine this year and will also do sideline commentary for Nine’s Intrust Super Premiership coverage in NSW.

Allana Ferguson is managed exclusively by The Fordham Company.

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