The head of the NSWRL Dave Trodden addressed Blues players that came to Homebush for a one-day Origin camp about player responsibilities in light of a rash of serious off-field issues that have seen five players charged by police in the past month.
As NSWRL chief executive Trodden was always going to speak to the 32 players named by Blues coach Brad Fittler in late November as members of his 'Extended Blues Squad'.
In actual fact he spoke to 30 players as Eels winger Blake Ferguson and Dragons forward Jack De Belin were absent from Friday's gathering.
"The message I gave them was about the progress they made this year and what's in front of them for next year," Trodden said.
"They all understand their responsibilities to the game and their responsibilities to the New South Wales Rugby League. I don't think it's necessary to really overplay those messages."
De Belin was charged 24 hours earlier with aggravated sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman. He was granted conditional bail and will appear in Wollongong Local Court on February 12.
Blues disappointed in de Belin allegations
Ferguson was training with Parramatta and did not take up the invitation to attend the one-day Blues camp. He has played seven times for NSW but was not picked for the 2018 Holden State of Origin series.
"Blake decided that he was training at Parramatta today so didn't turn up [here] today so that's a bit of a shame," Fittler said.
"We wish Blake all the best," the coach said, adding that the 28-year-old who won a premiership with the Roosters 10 weeks ago was still on the Blues radar.
But De Belin became the fifth player to be cited for an assault charge against a woman in the off-season.
Jarryd Hayne's next court appearance is in Newcastle on February 13; Dylan Walker will re-appear in Manly Local Court next Tuesday (December 18); Zane Musgrove and Liam Coleman are expected in Waverley Local Court on January 23; and De Belin in Wollongong on February 12.
Trodden said there was no useful purpose served in analysing why this spate of behaviour had happened, especially since the cases were all still within the NSW legal system.
"I think it's not useful for me to run commentary on those things against the background of what happened last night (De Belin's charge)," Trodden said.
"People will make judgments about that and I'm happy to leave it to other people to make those judgments. It's not really an appropriate time to be running those commentaries."