Coyne to front commissioners next week to explain Singapore slip-up

Mark Coyne will get a chance to explain himself to the board of the Australian Rugby League Commission face-to-face next week to ensure he receives "natural justice" before a call is made on whether he is fit to continue as a director.

In a letter to club and state chairs – obtained by the Herald – ARLC chairman Peter Beattie said they would meet to discuss Coyne’s future after he was given an opportunity to explain his behaviour.

Facing the music: Mark Coyne.Credit:Edwina Pickles

“The ARLC will meet on Thursday afternoon August 1 to discuss the issues involving Mark Coyne,” Beattie wrote.

Coyne was charged and fined $4000 for abusing a police officer during his drunken arrest in Singapore. The Dragons great conceded he only informed Beattie about the incident last Tuesday despite it occurring on June 2.

Coyne has admitted he broke the self-reporting rule but hasn’t resigned from his post, although he said he would accept the commission’s decision if the board deemed his position untenable.

The letter goes on to say: “It is important for us to handle this matter sensibly by giving Mark natural justice through an opportunity to present his case face to face with Commissioners. A phone hook up is not good enough.

“Besides, there are currently three Commissioners overseas in different time zones. I am sure rugby league fans would agree that if their future was being discussed they would expect a face to face meeting.

“We must not only do the right thing but be seen to do the right thing. Therefore, the process being followed is as follows:

“(1) I will meet with Mark next week on Monday July 29.

"(2) Mark is preparing a factual paper for the consideration of the ARLC.

"(3) I will seek the views of Club and State Chairs before the ARLC meets on August 1 at 5.30 pm to discuss the matter.

“I am therefore keen to hear the views of Club and State Chairs before the ARLC meets. If you want to express a view, please email, text or call me before next Thursday week (August 1). Chairs shouldn’t feel compelled to respond but I am interested in your views.”

Coyne called a police officer a "f—ing stupid idiot", a "f—ing dickhead" and a "cock" in the early hours of June 2, according to a court document.

Asked why it took him almost six weeks to inform the commission of his plight, he told the Herald last week: “The valid reason around that is I have never been over there before and the judicial system there is a very different type of system, as I have found out over the last six weeks.

Peter Beattie said the “ARLC will meet on Thursday afternoon August 1 to discuss the issues involving Mark Coyne”.Credit:SMH Sport

“Some of the advice I got was that there was to be no criticism of the judicial system.

“My biggest risk around self-reporting was there could have been a heap of media turn up in Singapore to get involved and that could have resulted in me being incarcerated.

“I recognised from an NRL point of view it wasn’t the right thing, but from a Mark Coyne point of view that was the right thing for me to do to protect myself. That’s why I wanted to make that decision.”

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