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Kenny keen to be Stuart's NSW assistant

Wayne Heming 17/11/2010 08:15:30 AM Comments (0)

Brett Kenny, the one NSW player who gave Wally Lewis a run for his money in the State of Origin arena, wants to help Ricky Stuart lead a Blues revival in 2011.

With NSWRL chairman Colin Love tipped to announce Stuart as Craig Bellamy's replacement on Wednesday morning, Kenny has not only hailed the appointment a winner but has also tossed his own name up to be a NSW Origin assistant.

It is understood Stuart will be offered a three-year contract along similar lines to Queensland's record setting coach Mal Meninga, who broke tradition when he was appointed as a long term Origin coach in 2006.

Meninga has won the last five series in a row.

After this year's 3-0 whitewash NSW employed former Sydney Roosters chief executive Brian Canavan to carry out an extensive independent review which recommended NSW follow Queensland's blueprint and lock a coach into a multi-year deal.

It's believed Stuart, who has recently been linked to coaching posts with at least three NRL clubs - including Brisbane and South Sydney in 2012 - will have a "get out" clause included in his Origin deal allowing him to step down should an NRL offer come his way.

Kenny, who played 17 Origins against Lewis at both five-eighth and in the centres, applauded Stuart's appointment as a step in the right direction to ending Queensland's unprecedented dominance.

"It's about time they started to listen to former players and people who know what they're talking about," Kenny told the ABC's Grandstand Sport.

"We need to follow Queensland, they're obviously doing something right, they've won it five times in a row.

"We need a full time coach and I think Ricky Stuart if the perfect guy to take up that position."

And Kenny said he was keen to line up as Stuart's assistant if, as expected, the latter was appointed to the job.

"I'll certainly be putting my hand up and giving notice," he said.

"I'd like to be able to help Ricky turn Origin around again."

Kenny said Stuart was not burdened by an NRL club like Bellamy, who had to get his NSW players to belt his Melbourne Storm players in Queensland jumpers at Origin time.

"A non-NRL coach has more time to work on his team, to look at players and work out what they need to do to win at Origin level," said Kenny, a marvellous tactician in the Lewis mould.

"Ricky's been there before he knows what it's like and this time it will be easier."

Stuart's passion has landed him in trouble in the past, costing him the Australian coaching job in 2008.

He wears his heart on his sleeve which Kenny said was perfect for Origin.

"State of Origin is a very passionate competition. The more passionate the coach the better, the players live off that and respond to that," he said.

"He's very passionate about Origin as are a lot of NSW players.

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