Stuart to play big role with Daley’s Blues
Newly appointed NSW State of Origin coach Laurie Daley claims former Blues mentor Ricky Stuart has earned the right to have a big say in his plans to dethrone Queensland.
Announced on Tuesday as the man to succeed Stuart – who failed to win back the shield in two series with the Blues – Daley said he would be “stupid” not to lean on his former Canberra teammate.
Despite his lack of a series win, Stuart was credited with restoring passion to the NSW camp during his return to the Origin coaching ranks – Daley making no secret of his desire to build on the platform already in place.
That will include bringing Stuart into camp if his commitments with NRL club Parramatta allow, Daley unconcerned by suggestions it could undermine his authority.
“He’s got a great understanding of what it takes to be an Origin player,” Daley said of Stuart.
“While he won’t be the coach, I’ve already indicated to him that I want him to be a big part of the team and, time permitting, he’ll give me everything that I need.
“We’re great mates – we go back a long way. I would love nothing more than to win and to have Ricky still be on board.
“… in regards to what role he wants to play, he deserves that with everything he’s created and he will have an influence over the group.
“You need the best people, regardless of who takes the credit for it.”
While Daley wouldn’t be drawn on whether the nucleus of the squad used by Stuart would be there again for game one in 2013, there will still be plenty of the former coach’s influence on the group.
Daley wants this year’s group of assistants – Jim Dymock, Trent Barrett, Matt Parish – to return, while he also talked up the possibility of an increased role for former Blues skipper Brad Fittler.
Fittler, along with Barrett and former Parramatta and Warriors coach Daniel Anderson, were all overlooked in favour of Daley for the Blues job.
Of the four candidates, only Barrett had less coaching experience than Daley – but the former Canberra, NSW and Australian Test skipper denied it would hamper his ability to come up with a gameplan to end Queensland’s seven years of dominance.
“There’s two different competitions – there’s the NRL and there’s State of Origin,” Daley said.
“You’ve got to understand Origin, you’ve got to know what it takes to win.
“I’ve been involved in over 40 camps at Origin time. I know what players like.
“People may see it as a gamble, I certainly don’t.”
Added NSW Rugby League chairman John Chalk on Daley’s coaching inexperience:
“It obviously was discussed but Origin’s a different animal.
“Laurie’s been used to coaching the All-Stars and City-Country games and it’s quite a condensed season as you might call it.
“Laurie’s got the passion and the feeling for the fact that he wants NSW to be successful.
“Sometimes you can’t bottle that sort of thing.”© AAP 2013