INTERIM NRL chief executive Shane Mattiske on Friday maintained his administration had not overreacted over Danny Buderus's bid to join the coaching staff of the ACT Brumbies.
Any chance of Buderus securing a position with the Brumbies ended officially on Friday when their coach, Jake White, closed the door on the appointment, just 24 hours after flanking the Newcastle hooker at a press conference announcing his new ''collision'' coach.
White maintained he felt that ''cross-code sharing'' was a positive for sports, while the NRL's reaction has been criticised elsewhere for being overbearing. Yet Mattiske defended the swift decision to block Buderus's role, which came just hours after the announcement was made.
''We've got a contractual framework, and I think Danny would acknowledge if he sat back and thought through the approach that was made to him - perhaps he should have discussed it with his club and then discussed it with the league before he actually committed himself,'' Mattiske said.
''Danny's a rugby league player, he's got a rugby league contract. If he wants to go and participate in another sport, that's something we're happy for him to do once he finishes being a rugby league player. Obviously it's not appropriate to do that while you are a rugby league player.''
Buderus said accepting the job was an error of judgment.
''I wish to apologise to the NRL, the Knights, their stakeholders and fans for any offence I caused by accepting a pre-season coaching experience with the ACT Brumbies,'' he said in a statement.
In a Brumbies statement released on Friday, White put an end to any chance that Buderus would work with his squad.
''It would have been great to have Danny involved with the Brumbies moving towards the 2013 Super Rugby season but it appears that isn't going to be possible,'' he said. ''It was not the Brumbies' intention to cause any harm or disruption to the NRL.
''I admire Danny's skill set and his professionalism and the Brumbies were excited by the thought of involving him in our program. I wish Danny and the Newcastle Knights all the best for 2013.''
Still, he said he was open to cross-code knowledge sharing in the future.
''One thing I've found in Australia is that cross-code sharing and the Australian way of performing on the highest level has been stimulating for me as a professional coach,'' he said. ''These consultancy roles are something we will be looking at over the next couple of years.''
The NRL has also opened itself to claims of hypocrisy as a result of Sonny Bill Williams's impending return to the NRL. While Williams has stated that he will honour a handshake agreement to join Sydney Roosters in 2013, he remains contracted to Japanese rugby union.
Mattiske said that because a contract had not been submitted, Williams could not be accused of the same conflict of interest as Buderus.
''We've got a contractual framework, we've got rules that have to be complied with, and Sonny Bill understands that if he's to come back to the game he's going to have to comply with those rules and our contractual framework,'' he said.
''We haven't had a contract presented to us, we haven't had a player registration form presented to us, and until we get to that stage, we can't really assess what's being put forward to us.''
The Roosters, who are yet to finalise the signing of Williams, have already suffered an early pre-season blow, with centre Tautau Moga facing a long stint on the sidelines after apparently damaging an anterior cruciate ligament at training on Thursday.
Moga, who made his debut for the Roosters last season, suffered the injury when stepping off his right foot at training at Leichhardt Oval. He is expected to require a knee reconstruction, ruling him out until midway through next season.
❏ Rugby league royalty met, well, real royalty on Friday when Greg Inglis, Greg Bird and Jamie Soward came face-to-face with his royal highness the Prince of Wales at Bondi. Inglis, Bird, other indigenous stars and a group of western Sydney student, played a game of touch football on Bondi Beach as they promoted the NRL's Dream Believe Achieve program for indigenous youth to their special guest.
''He's a funny guy,'' Inglis said. ''Greg Bird will probably tell you more about him - he was sitting on the sidelines having a rest, and [the prince] decided to have a rest. I only had a brief chat with him, for about 30 seconds, but he asked about the World Cup over there [in Britain], and definitely showed some interest.''
Bird added: ''I was blowing a bit out there so I went over to the sideline to have a rest. He actually came over to speak with me … It was amazing really. He asked me questions about football, and the pre-season … he was quite inquisitive about the game.''