Origin legend's message: stick by Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Origin legend's message: stick by Blues

David Beniuk 14/04/2011 06:54:13 PM Comments (0)

Former Test coach turned president of the NSW Origin Legends Chris Anderson has one piece of advice for new Blues coach Ricky Stuart: Believe in your players.

Anderson, a World Cup and dual premiership-winning coach, has been appointed to head up NSW's answer to Queensland's formidable Former Origin Greats.

He says the Blues need to pick a side and stick by it - and the Origin Legends (NSWOLs) will stick tight too.

"I just think the team we pick this year, we've got to believe in them," Anderson told AAP as the NSWOLs launched their May 19 Blue Tie Ball on Thursday.

"We don't just have to believe in them for one game, we've got to believe in them for the series.

"It's not something that's just going to turn around overnight but without belief it's not going to turn around at all.

"The biggest thing we can offer as Origin legends is, whoever Ricky puts out there, we're going to believe in them."

The Blues greats recently met Stuart to agree to his plea for former players to stop bagging the NSW players.

The NSWOLs are now promising a big involvement in the league's community programs, particularly in country areas, as well as drumming up support for the Blues.

NSW underwent a sweeping review of their operations after last year's unprecedented fifth straight series loss, launching into a new era with Stuart at the helm full-time and abolishing the Blues' selection panel.

Anderson said Stuart and sole selection adviser Bob Fulton needed to go for a blend of blooded Origin warriors and up-and-comers like Jamal Idris, Josh Dugan and Todd Carney.

"The big thing with Origin is you've got to pick blokes who have been there and you've got to have a good base of blokes who have been there," he said.

"Queensland can bring any kid in there and he plays up to standard straight away because they've got such a good base of senior players that have been there for a while so the kid's comfortable.

"We're putting kids in there without that base so the kids are all over the shop.

"They've got to feed off the Paul Gallens.

"If the Paul Gallens set the platform those blokes will be fine.

"Their football's good enough, just mentally they've got to feel comfortable with the senior players."

Anderson played eight games for NSW before becoming one of the game's most successful coaches, winning competitions with Canterbury and Melbourne before stints at Cronulla and the Sydney Roosters.

He has barely been sighted since quitting the Roosters in 2008, saying at the time he'd lost the desire to coach.

Meanwhile, former Blues prop Steve Roach threw his support behind in-demand Cronulla front-rower Kade Snowden to be NSW's main man up front.

"He's the sort of bloke you can virtually build a long-term team around," Roach said.

"He's only young and he showed in that last game last year that he's certainly ready for it."

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