Daley says Stuart the man to end the blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Daley says Stuart the man to end the blues

Wayne Heming 16/11/2010 05:29:43 PM Comments (0)

Laurie Daley rates Ricky Stuart the best man to halt Queensland's record State of Origin roll, endorsing him to return to the Blues coaching job for the 2011 series.

Stuart, who quit struggling NRL club Cronulla this year and stood down as national team coach in the fallout from the 2008 World Cup final loss to New Zealand, is tipped to be named as Craig Bellamy's NSW Origin replacement on Wednesday.

His appointment would set up an intriguing coaching clash with Mal Meninga, his former Canberra and Australian teammate with whom he shared numerous great victories, including the 1990 Kangaroos tour success.

The Blues have lost a record five straight series -- three in a row under Bellamy -- to the Meninga-coached Maroons since Stuart was last at the NSW coaching helm, winning in 2005 in his only season before taking the Test role.

An extensive independent report carried out last month by former Sydney Roosters heavyweight Brian Canavan and dubbed "Toad Buster" recommended the appointment of a full-time coach who should be given a major say in selecting the NSW team.

NSW's most successful Origin coach Phil Gould is not interested in returning to the job and Stuart is seen as the man with the drive and passion to turn things around in 2011.

His representative coaching record is impressive, with 13 wins from 15 games.

In Brisbane on Tuesday, Daley threw his support behind his former Canberra, NSW and Australian teammate to pull off what some have described as "mission impossible" against the settled and talent-packed Queensland outfit.

Daley himself stepped down as a NSW selector in August, disappointed and hurt by criticism directed at him and other members of the NSW panel, Bob Fulton, Bob McCarthy and Geoff Gerard.

"I think Ricky would do a fantastic job, he's definitely the man for it," Daley told AAP.

"He's got no (club) commitments now, he can really zero in on the job.

"We all know how passionate and intense Ricky can be when he's given a job of such responsibility.

"He knows what it takes to have a successful NSW side. He's done it as a player and as a coach and the fire still burns within him.

"Fingers crossed he gets the job."

Daley said there were encouraging signs this year for NSW even though they lost all three games, the first by four points and the third by just five points.

"Queensland are a very good team, but we're not that far away," he said.

"We competed well. We could have won a few games but you can't take anything away from Queensland, they were better than us.

"We need to improve, and with someone like Ricky in the job fulltime, I think we can and we're confident we can go better than what we have."

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