The NRL is set to question the Broncos about the presence of former football operations manager Andrew Gee in the coaches' box at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday as Wayne Bennett defended the club legend's right to be there.
Gee, who played 255 games with the Broncos, quit his post as football operations manager in 2014 on the cusp of the NRL launching an investigation to determine whether the Broncos had cheated the salary cap to the tune of $450,000.
The Broncos were cleared of any wrongdoing but Gee refused to be interviewed by the NRL about the matter and has not held an official position with Brisbane since.
The four-time premiership player is close to Bennett and the Brisbane coach was clearly peeved when questioned about why he was in the box during Brisbane's 48-18 elimination final loss to St George Illawarra.
"Because I invited him. It is a still a free country isn't it," Bennett responded.
"He's a friend of mine, he can come and sit in the box with me any time he wants. I don't tell the NRL who I am bringing to the game. He's not a criminal."
A further explanation will be sought by the NRL from the Broncos.
"The NRL will ask the Broncos for an explanation as to why Andrew Gee was in the coaches' box today," an NRL spokesperson said.
Bennett queried the tenor of the questions in the post-match presser, before it was then said to him that Gee was among staff investigated internally by Brisbane over $300,000 in funds that went missing from Broncos Leagues club accounts.
"He's not working for the Broncos any more. So he goes and sits in the stands? He can do that still and he can come and sit with me if he wants to as well," Bennett said.