during game two of the State Of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium on June 21, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.

Brad Fittler is expected to be announced as New South Wales’ head coach as early as tomorrow.

Fittler and Michael Maguire are the front-runners to replace Laurie Daley, however, Fittler is expected to be given the nod.

Tomorrow’s press release will be held at Star City – NSW’s sponsor – alongside Blues chairman George Peponis.

Guiding an adversity-struck Lebanon side in this year’s World Cup, and working with a number of players and teams in recent years, Fittler has gained valuable experience with the next generation of origin players.

The man entrusted to end Queensland’s decade-long reign, has 194 days to lead his side to Origin glory.

Laurie Daley remains in contact with the pair, having played alongside Maguire at Canberra, and alongside Fittler at representative level. He believes Fittler’s thirty-one caps for NSW can ensure future success for the Blues.

“I think it does (help) because it’s different to any other game,” Daley said at the launch of the Festival of Indigenous Rugby League on Thursday.

“It’s a really big build up. It’s like three grand finals in six weeks and the roller-coaster you have is very emotional.

“If you don’t understand it and you get caught up in it you can lose sight and focus.”


    • Have you seen the results of the U20’s origins in the last 6 years? NSW have OWNED QLD and look at the current young talent already on the verge of playing for NSW now. Let’s face it, QLD’s golden era is coming to a close and the skies will be BLUE for a LONG time to come. As long as the refs and NRL don’t pull a con to continue to grow the game outside of NSW.

      • The only thing I can counter that statement is that Queensland has always been quality not quantity the nsw under 20 is all round a team of very good players as Queensland have mostly average with one or two future superstars. Although I do see it switching in nsw favour i do see Queensland having there fair share of wins

  1. He’s walking into the NSW set up at the right time, all players are reaching or in the prime of their careers. Unlike Stuart or Daley, who had to restore the culture or bide time with younger players, he walks into a set up with a team that can dominate right away and he’s the right coach for the job. Looking forward to what should and hopefully, just hopefully .. be successful years for the Blues.

  2. I’m still not sure about this move, but I’m leaning to its a positive.

    Focusing on what we can control, I think (with the benefit on hindsight) we’ve persevered and/or reintroduced players that haven’t been good enough / consistent enough at rep level too often. I’m not sure I’d back Freddie to overlook his mates, but get a hard bottom selector/s to work with Freddie and we could overcome this mistake.

    The other issue we’ve got is the level of pride. I wouldn’t take anything away from most NSW players on this front, but would give the QLD rep levels a platinum star. Obviously Daley has had the origin history, as a player, but I just get this feeling that Freddie can rein-still / up,that level of pride/passion. That said, if he can’t, and given his lay back/ casual personality, it could seriously backfire and turn us into the NZ rep side.

    I think he can coach the right player group (experienced professionals), hence I’m leaning towards a positive overall.

  3. Fittler is the “obvious” choice and he has been close to the team already for a long time (no doubt Andrew Johns will be assisting him). Given Fittler’s success with Lebanon in the WC it can be argued that he has proven he is ready. Sometimes however the “obvious” choice is not the right one. I still think that Toovey would have more success with the expectation that Fittler and Johns would still be heavily involved and perhaps Cliff Lyons and Beaver Menzies could also be brought into camp. Between these 5 there would be enough SOO experience and talent to mentor and motivate a young squad of players that will doubtless dominate for the next 10 years once the QLD greats call it a day.

  4. I must admit that I wasn’t convinced on this a couple of months ago, but I have changed my mind on this. First of all, what Fittler has been able to do with the Cedars in the WC is fantastic and he should be applauded for what he brought to the jersey. In addition to the success he has had a City coach, especially when players were made unavailable and he had a team of guys who really should not have been there. Also though, the reports that he is a different man once the coaches hat gos on instills confidence in me too. Whilst it is completely different, we saw it in the NRL Rookie series too, the clown that we see on the Footy Show disappears, and he is a coach.

    One thing is for sure, he will bring passion to the team. I am not saying that Daley wasn’t/isn’t passionate about Origin, obviously he is, but Fittler’s passion is there for all to see, and I think that will rub off on the players.

    • I don’t think that Fittler will do a bad job I just think someone who is also an origin veteran that has not been closely associated with the Blues in recent years and is passionate about the jersey could bring a fresh perspective and renewed energy to the NSW cause. That man I think is Toovey. I think Fittler (aided by Andrew Johns) will do well and he already has the confidence and respect of the team. Certainly what Fittler achieved with the Cedars in just a short time with little actual NRL experience in the side should be applauded.

  5. Heard an interview with Val Holmes on the radio this morning, and it was refreshing to hear some of his answers. They asked him if the team had prepared for Hayne tonight, and instead of the usual “We haven’t singled out any player….” cliche, he admitted that they had discussed this is the type of game that Hayne is usually up for and they are prepared for that. Then they asked him who he would like to play in the final if they beat Fiji, and instead of “We are just worried about tonight” or “That is out of our control” or any other usual line, he admitted he would love to play Tonga after what they had done so far, saying they deserve a spot in the final. Great to hear a young player speak honestly.

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