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3 days ago
Gorden Tallis' down to earth honesty and upfront nature are his biggest assets in his new role as an NRL board member, according to Rugby League Professionals Association (RLPA) president Tony Butterfield.
Tallis, a former Brisbane, Queensland and Test forward who retired last year, has been appointed to the six-man NRL board, replacing dual international John Brass as one of three News Ltd representatives.
Butterfield said the 31-year-old Tallis was the ideal man for the job because he doesn't pull any punches.
"Life is too short to be stuffing around the edges," said Butterfield, who was at the head of negotiations to secure the historic CBA agreement between the RLPA and the NRL last year.
"He'll tell you what he thinks and as he's got older he's become much more considered in his views, which is a sign of maturity.
"I think it's personally good for Gorden that he stays involved in the game and he learns about the real world and the complexities of the game."
Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen labelled the appointment of Tallis a positive move, but warned the former Test skipper needed to keep an open mind as a representative of the game's major stakeholder News Ltd.
"While he will bring to the table the experiences he's had with the players and fans of the game, he's always got to remember that he's not like a representative of the players as such," said Cullen.
"He's a representative of one of the shareholders so he has to cover the whole broad spectrum of what directors' duties are all about."
Since taking over the CEO duties at the club two years ago, Cullen said Tallis had matured enormously as Broncos captain before hanging up the boots.
"He's very much come to appreciate the other side of the sport and he's just absolutely fantastic with sponsors and corporate clients," said Cullen.
"It's surprised me a little bit but I can't give him enough raps for the work he's done off the field in the last year or so."
Butterfield said the RLPA fully endorsed the appointment of a former player to the NRL such as Tallis.
"It's always been a fundamental belief of the association that a player, either current or recently departed, is at the decision-making level," said Butterfield.
"To have Gorden there, he will no doubt add much-needed balance so that a very contemporary perspective can be taken on issues."