Opinion

Rugby league, the sport that just keeps on giving

Even during the off-season the NRL provides plenty of entertainment.
Even during the off-season the NRL provides plenty of entertainment. DEAN LEWINS

OH, RUGBY league - it's the sport that keeps on giving.

Even when the playing fields are deserted during the off-season, rugby league never fails to provide its fans with entertainment.

Take the latest cross-code scandal involving Newcastle Knights hooker Danny Buderus and the ACT Brumbies.

Buderus agreed to a role as the Super Rugby franchise's "collision" coach only for the ARLC to step in and veto the move moments later.

The job wouldn't have been a huge commitment for the rugby league great.

He was signed up to work with the players one day per week during the pre-season and on a consultant basis when the NRL and Super Rugby seasons kick off.

Buderus is definitely in the twilight of his playing days so of course he would be thinking about life after football.

But I just can't understand why he thought the NRL would let him start his coaching career in a rival code.

Forget about whether it breaches the third-party agreements in the salary cap.

Buderus gets paid to be a rugby league player and that needs to be his one and only priority.

Footballers do have the right to earn a living away from the sport.

There are plenty of NRL players who have part-time careers as personal trainers.

If one of them had a client who was from another code then I wouldn't have a problem with it.

The difference is that Buderus wasn't just offering a few fitness tips to the Brumbies.

He had signed on to become part of their organisation.

Watching Buderus make the announcement dressed in a Brumbies media polo was not a good look for a current NRL player.

They're not just footballers at the elite level. They're promotional tools to help grow the game.

Rugby league needs its stars to draw in the crowds and TV ratings.

And seeing a bloke who is touted as one of the good guys of the NRL spruiking rugby union is counter-productive to that aim.

Common sense has prevailed and Buderus admitted that he went about things the wrong way.

It was dealt with swiftly and there was no real harm done.

And I'm sure that there was no malice on the part of Buderus.

He was simply looking for a chance to start his coaching career and the Brumbies provided one.

But the sporting landscape in this country is cutthroat and the football codes will do what ever it takes to gain the most exposure.

The AFL only let Israel Folau out of his multi-million contract last week go after it was clear very early on that he wouldn't make it as an Aussie rules player.

They weren't after a player, they were after a walking billboard.

A player of Buderus' stature could have offered some excellent coaching advice to the Brumbies but I'm sure they were also looking for a face in the media.

It should be taken as a compliment that other sports are chasing rugby talent.

But after all the fuss the ARLC made about its new branding, the sport needs to be able to keep its big names to itself.

Topics:  off the ball, rugby league, sport, trent slatter




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Warwick man's death "natural circumstances"

Emergency Services: Ambulance, QAS.

Man unable to be revived after collapsing at Warwick business

Condamine poo-llution

CONTAMINATED: Southern Downs Regional Council has erected polluted water signs on the banks of the Condamine River at O'Leary St.

Condamine River out of bounds

Hot blokes ready to unzip

It's raining men

Latest deals and offers


She’ll be apples in Stanthorpe as festival kicks off

Jonathan Apple, festival president John Thouard, former Young Ambassadors Miriam Spina and Taylah Wantling and Isabella Grape welcomed the start of the 2016 Festival.

It’s a great start for the 10 days of festival ahead'

The best retro movies of the week? May 27 - June 3

Gregory Peck Photo Contributed

This week TV fan get to see Tom Cruise in a 1980s classics

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked