In yet another embarrassing, and public gaffe, NRL CEO David Smith mixed up the names of two star players, on a night intended to mark a new era of growth and confidence in the code.
Smith’s latest slip-up was in fact his first official function in the top job – so, opening night nerves perhaps. He started off thoughtfully enough – noting that his thoughts were with Canterbury fullback Ben Barba who is out on suspension, and was unable to be launching the NRL season on Wednesday as intended.
Yet a quick slip of the tongue, and he had confused Ben with Benji Marshall. “Ben remains a key part of our promotion, and so he should be. It's why we are also lending a hand to Benji during a difficult time for him and his family.”
In these Twittering times, not even a slip of the tongue can disappear – a parody account was set up soon after. To date, 'Benji Barba', has only tweeted once: “Thanks for the intro David Smith.”