Buderus apologises to NRL

KNIGHTS champion Danny Buderus emailed acting NRL chief executive Shane Mattiske and issued a public statement yesterday to apologise for his short-lived coaching appointment with the ACT Brumbies.

Buderus attended a media conference on Thursday to announce he had accepted a part-time consultancy role as ‘‘collision coach’’ with Canberra’s Super Rugby franchise.

But within hours NRL officials had vetoed the plan, warning that it would be a breach of third-party salary cap rules and asking the Knights for an explanation.

As the NRL waited yesterday for Newcastle’s formal response, Buderus was quick to show his contrition.

He is understood to have spoken directly to NRL media staff and sent an email to Mattiske to express his remorse for what he described as ‘‘an error of judgment’’. 

In his statement, Buderus said: ‘‘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.

‘‘I hope to one day become an NRL coach and being in the final year of my football career I thought the opportunity to work with the Brumbies would broaden my knowledge of coaching.

‘‘The role involved five sessions with the team during our pre-season and wouldn’t have impacted on my training or the season ahead with the Knights.

‘‘I love our game and I love the club but accept it was an error of judgment for which I take full responsibility. Today I have contacted the NRL to personally apologise and I accept whatever steps they believe are needed to repair any damage I have caused.’’

Brumbies coach Jake White said he had been ‘‘excited’’ about working with Buderus, but now ‘‘it appears that isn’t going to be possible”. 

“It was not the Brumbies’ intentions to cause any harm or disruption to the NRL ...  I wish Danny and the Newcastle Knights all the best for 2013,’’ White said.

 Mattiske denied the NRL had over-reacted in handling the issue.

‘‘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.’’

 ●  Former Knights winger Anthony Quinn is edging closer to rejoining the club where he kicked off his NRL career 10 years ago.

After six years at Melbourne Storm, the 29-year-old former NSW representative is returning to Newcastle to work as an electrician and he and Knights management are trying to finalise details of a second-tier contract for the 2013 season.

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