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Bellamy sees pluses in full-time job

By David Beniuk 30/06/2010 06:41:43 PM Comments (0)

NSW coach Craig Bellamy concedes there could be benefits in the Blues hiring a full-time coach for next year's State of Origin series.

Bellamy could be the last of the Blues bosses to juggle duties at an NRL club as the NSWRL prepares to conduct a sweeping review of their Origin set-up.

Queensland coach Mal Meninga has been solely at the helm of the Maroons for five years, a tenure coinciding with a record five straight series wins.

Bellamy will make his full thoughts known to Brian Canavan, the former Sydney Roosters chief executive charged with dissecting the Blues' structure, but can already see the pluses of the position being full-time.

"I suppose there's a lot of advantages to having a guy that's not coaching in the NRL," Bellamy told reporters on Wednesday.

"He can probably do a little bit more between the Origin series as far as getting around to the players and doing his plan or whatever.

"I've got an opinion on a few things, I'll let the appropriate people know at the end of this series, but at the end of the day there is some argument that probably would see that as a positive move."

Bellamy, who has been at the Blues' helm for three consecutive Origin series losses, has had the added stress in 2010 of leading a Melbourne side unable to earn points after the NRL club's salary cap scandal.

He said the added workload of an intense Origin campaign could make coaches flat in the same way players have long been believed to suffer a post-series letdown.

"I knew it was going to be a tough job, you have to put a whole heap of time into it and I've got a responsibility at Melbourne as well so it was always going to be a stretch of my time," he said.

"I came away from (my first) series pretty much exhausted so I had to be a little bit smarter the last two series ... so I certainly learnt from that first one.

"It took a fair bit out of me but Origin does that.

"I know when my players come back from playing Origin they can be quite tired for a few weeks and it's the same with coaches I think."

Already the first NSW coach to survive two straight series losses, the 50-year-old is aware he is unlikely to be in the NSW job next year, although he hasn't officially ruled himself out.

A report after Origin II said the Storm mentor had offered his resignation following the 34-6 demolition by Queensland at Suncorp Stadium, something Bellamy is reluctant to elaborate on.

Legendary NSW coach Phil Gould, Country boss Laurie Daley, Blues great Brad Fittler and outgoing Cronulla mentor Ricky Stuart are among the club-less candidates who have been mentioned in connection with the job.

Gould, who has won more Origin series than any other coach, has said he would consider a return if the game was managed by an independent commission.

Earlier, Bellamy shrugged off comments from his NRL club captain Cameron Smith that the Blues made too many changes to their State of Origin team.

Queensland and Melbourne hooker Smith suggested NSW "don't learn their lesson" on Tuesday after Blues selectors made eight changes for Origin III, including three debutant front-rowers.

"Cameron's always got an opinion on something so that's fine," Bellamy told reporters on Wednesday.

"That's his way of looking at things.

"There's a bit of an eye this time (with selections) looking to the future as well.

"Having said that, I think all these guys really deserve to be in there, they've been playing really well at NRL level.

"I don't think it's a gamble, I think these guys deserve to be there."

Props Jason King, Kade Snowden and Tim Mannah and winger Michael Gordon will all make their Origin debuts for the Blues at ANZ Stadium next Wednesday.

But just how many of the Blues' Origin II side would have survived is clouded by the returns of game one forwards Luke Lewis (suspension) and Anthony Watmough (groin), suspensions to Michael Weyman, Luke O'Donnell and Timana Tahu and injury to Matt Cooper (hamstring).

Backrowers Ben Creagh, Trent Waterhouse and Nathan Hindmarsh, prop Brett White and winger Joel Monaghan, however, were overlooked.

"It's really great to see those (new) guys come in, they're so enthusiastic about playing Origin," Bellamy said.

"We'll have to work a little bit harder this week to fit them into what we want to do and how we want to do it."

NSW trained on Wednesday morning at Parramatta Stadium, where ground staff were forced to water the grass after it iced over as Sydney shivers through a cold snap.

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