Matt Encarnacion, NRL.com
Former Sharks forward Ben Ross has rejected an approach by Super League side London Broncos by taking up a role with the Men of League in Australia.
Speculation was rife over the weekend that Ross, 33, had been lured out of retirement by Broncos coach Tony Rea to play in England, but the former Queensland forward officially accepted a Welfare Manager position at Men of League on Monday.
"I am passionate about our game and about welfare. I look forward to drawing on my own experiences on and off the field to help support the Men of League community," Ross said in a statement.
"I certainly know how quickly everything can be taken away from you and just how vital the work of the Foundation is to helping people get back on their feet."
It was believed that Ross was the fourth NRL acquisition made by the Broncos for the 2014 season, joining the likes of Melbourne winger Denny Solomona, Cronulla utility Nesiasi Metaitonga and Cowboys hooker Scott Moore.
But Ross took to social not long after to diffuse the situation.
"To hear I have sign with London Broncos is not the truth," he tweeted. "They had offered a contract and [London Broncos coach] Tony Rea was a complete professional. I have now decided to stay in Australia & follow my passion for community welfare. More will be explained on Monday."
Men of League CEO Corene Strauss said they were excited to secure the services of a player with so much experience in the game.
"We are thrilled to have Ben Ross join the team. I [am] looking forward to working with him in his new role and believe his experience and passion will prove to be a valuable asset," she said.
"Ben's role will see him help Men of League continue to provide assistance and support to players, coaches, referees, officials and administrators from all levels of the game, as well as members of their families and the broader rugby league community."