NRL is Fittler’s blueprint for Origin success

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    NSW could soon have the arsenal for a new golden era of State of Origin, but their success must start in the NRL according to likely new coach Brad Fittler.

    Fittler will be one of four candidates interviewed for the Blues top job over the next fortnight, before the successful applicant aims to begin the arduous task of becoming just the second NSW coach to claim a series victory in 12 years.

    Queensland’s dominance of rugby league in recent seasons has also extended to the NRL, with this year’s grand final the first not to feature a past or present NSW Origin player in 20 years.

    And Fittler said it was at NRL level that things first had to change.

    “It would be all based around being great club players,” Fittler said.

    “The best Queensland players have shown they have been the best club players. So we need to get the best club players.

    “NSW have got to try to get the best scenario going forward. Getting the best players and hopefully getting around and having a yarn to players about expectations and what sort of players we want to see.”

    Despite the Blues’ woeful record in recent years, Fittler is adamant there could be no better time to become a NSW coach.

    While he claimed it was too premature for him to be considering the make up of their Origin squad for 2018, he is licking his lips at the prospect of his squad in the coming years.

    “We’ve got more players that have the potential to be great coming through than we have had for a long time,” he said.

    “Some of the coaches in the past probably haven’t had the luxury of the one who will be given the job next of having the Trbojevics, Jack Bird and (Nathan) Cleary and these sort of players who look really motivated at the moment.

    “Rugby league seems to be the one thing that they want to do in life. I don’t know if NSW has had that for 10 or 15 years.

    “That’s going to be the key. You get that pressure coming through from underneath and that will really allow for the best players to shine.”

    Meanwhile NSW Rugby League chairman George Peponis said he expected teenage halfback Cleary would be one of several youngsters to wear the NSW jersey in the next two years.

    “We’ve got a lot of good young kids, Nathan Cleary, your Trbojevic brothers. One has had a taste of State of Origin and the other two will, if not next year then the year after,” Peponis said.

    “We’ve won the under-16s, 18s and 20s State of Origin competitions for the past few years.

    “The future is bright.”

    © AAP 2017

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