Laurie DaleyThree-time series-winning captain Laurie Daley says whoever gets the vacant NSW State of Origin coaching job can expect help from Ricky Stuart to settle into the high-pressure job.
Stuart, who lost the past two interstate series in deciders – this year’s by one point – has stepped down as Blues coach to take over the reins of NRL strugglers Parramatta in 2013.
“Ricky has been fantastic and I know how passionate he is about NSW,” said Daley after confirming yesterday he had officially applied for the Origin job.
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“I think regardless of who is in charge, Ricky will still have a heavy influence in how the NSW team prepares.
“You would like to think if Ricky had the time, he would help in some way, shape or form because he’s done a massive job in closing the gap between the two states over the last two years.”
Daley’s rivals include Jim Dymock, Brad Fittler, Trent Barrett – who was Stuart’s assistant this year – and possibly NSW’s most successful Origin mentor, Phil Gould.
The Blues will be desperate to secure the right man to carry on Stuart’s work, with Queensland eyeing off an eighth straight series win next year.
“I’ve put my hand up and I’m certainly interested in the position,” Daley revealed at an All Stars ticket promotion in Brisbane.
“The NSW board are going through a process at the moment where they’re identifying candidates to find the best possible person to lead the state.”
Daley didn’t want to publicly talk up his claims to replace Stuart – his former Canberra, NSW and Australian teammate.
But he had no doubt he was ready to take the next step in his coaching career.
“I’ve been coaching representative sides now for five years and I think I could do a good job,” said the former Raiders great.
“The other people who’ve put their hands up are also very good candidates.
“We’ve come close the past few years under Ricky’s guidance and it’s one of those challenges where you feel you can make a difference.”
Daley has coached Country Origin since 2008 for two wins, a draw and two losses and the feedback from his players has been very positive.
He said he would not change too much of what Stuart had introduced to the Blues’ Origin preparations, but he would certainly introduce some of his own ideas and interpretations to the team. AAP
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