In a bid to make a heartfelt plea to allow him to play in the NRL again this season, Cowboys suspended half Robert Lui will fly to Sydney – to discuss the matter with interim CEO, Shane Mattiske.
Continual meetings with psychologists, as Lui armed with the necessary reports informing the NRL of his changed persona – as well as evidence of the tireless community work he has done in the Townsville area.
With a 1-year ban handed down to him by then NRL CEO David Gallop, Lui will travel to Sydney with Cowboys Chief Executive Peter Jourdain, as well as Player Welfare Manager, Kevin Marty.
It was in April that Lui was suspended, after he was placed on a 2-year good behaviour bond and fined $2000, after he admitted to assaulting his girlfriend, following Mad Monday celebrations at his former club, the Wests Tigers.
During the 1-year ban, Lui partook in a strict rehabilitation program, that included regular meetings with Psychologist, Jo Lukins.
“After going to court, I felt really ashamed and I tried to hide away from the world,” Lui said.
“But I really want to apologise for what I have done and I want to say sorry to everyone.
“I know people will probably think the worst of me but there is a much better side to me.
“I have been doing everything I can in the community up here.
“I really just want to play footy and the club wants me to play some sort of footy.”
A report by Lukins, contained information that may aid Lui’s bid to play some sort of footy again, with a statement in her report saying: “Any opportunity for him (Lui) to play rugby league in some form of competitive environment would likely be beneficial to his personal rehabilitation.”
The Cowboys are baffled over the handling of the entire situation however, as they claim that the ban did not extend to all levels of footy, just to the NRL.
Jourdain says that he also received assurances from then CEO David Gallop, that if Lui completed the necessary rehabilitation programs, that he could play some sort of footy again in season 2012.
“Stepping down completely from the game for the whole of the season just seems to be over the top to me,” Jourdain said.
“He has already been punished by the law – which was a good behaviour bond.
“When it was first agreed that there be a suspension for the year, we certainly thought that was NRL rather than all levels.
“David Gallop at the time agreed … he thought at some stage during the year it would be appropriate that Rob played some sort of football.”