Daley to continue Sticky’s Blues legacy
It’s the toughest gig in Australian sport, but Laurie Daley is confident he is the man who can stop Queensland from winning an eighth consecutive State of Origin series next year.
Daley was on Tuesday appointed to a two-year deal as the successor to former Blues and Canberra teammate Ricky Stuart, who stepped down as NSW coach last month to take up a full-time coaching role with Parramatta.
The former champion five-eighth is under no illusions about the enormity of his task but says the work done by his good friend Stuart in the past two years has put NSW on the brink of something special.
“Ricky Stuart’s done a fantastic job over the last couple of years in closing the gap between Queensland and NSW,” Daley told Fox Sports on Tuesday.
“I just want to continue on from his legacy and leave my own legacy behind.
“I know that I can get the job done.
“I know it’s going to be very difficult but I’m confident in the players that NSW have developed over the last couple of years that we’re not far away.”
Daley’s State of Origin pedigree cannot be questioned.
A veteran of 23 games, Daley has been involved in the Blues setup as a player, captain, assistant coach and selector.
He took control of the Country Origin team in 2008, leading them to two victories and a draw in five clashes with City, while also taking charge of the Indigenous team in the annual All Stars clash for the past three seasons.
Daley acknowledges his relative inexperience at the elite coaching level – with no time in control of an NRL club – but says he is eager to lock horns with Queensland counterpart Mal Meninga, another former teammate at the Raiders.
“I’m relatively new coming into the system in terms of coaching at this level,” Daley said.
“I’ve got some experience behind me coaching Country Origin, coaching the Indigenous team and being a part of the Origin set up for over forty camps.
“I think I know what is required. I know that Mal is a very hard worker.
“I’ve got to match what he does off the field and I’m confident I can do that.”
Champion Maroons halfback Allan Langer praised the appointment, describing Daley as one of the fiercest and most passionate NSW players he competed against and said he was the ideal person to take over from Stuart.
“I know Laurie is still very passionate about the NSW side and he’ll do a very good job,” Langer told AAP.
“I’m sure they’ve talked about it but Laurie is his own man and he’ll introduce his own ideas on Origin.
“I’m sure he’s got the passion for the job and you know that great competitive spirit of his will come out in him.”
Daley claimed the job ahead of fellow Blues legends Brad Fittler and Trent Barrett.© AAP 2013