Blues to stick with full-time Origin coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues to stick with full-time Origin coach

By David Beniuk 08/07/2011 06:38:48 PM Comments (0)

Ricky Stuart or no Ricky Stuart, the NSW State of Origin side will have a full-time coach again in 2012.

NSW Rugby League boss Geoff Carr has confirmed they won't consider using a NRL coach in the role after Stuart became the side's first full-time mentor this year.

Stuart has a two-year contract with NSW but Carr would consider a release should the former Sydney Roosters, Cronulla and Test coach be offered a big money job at a club.

Carr, though, stressed on Friday the coach had not yet gone, despite continued speculation Stuart is in the sights of Canterbury.

A sweeping review of the Blues' set-up, conducted by former Roosters' boss Brian Canavan, in the wake of last year's fifth straight Origin series loss, recommended NSW follow Queensland's lead in appointing a full-time coach.

"We don't spend all that time and effort to review it, to come up with a concept for a full-time coach and then turn around and change our mind after a year," Carr told AAP.

"There'll be a full-time coach next year."

NSW lost the series 2-1 but Carr said the results of Canavan's review were there for all to see in the side's attitude and performances.

"There's no doubt the fact that Brian Canavan spent a good two-and-a-half months researching best practice around the world, the fact that Ricky was committed to adopting and following the review and the fact he was a full-time coach that spent a lot of time preparing has been embraced by NSW," Carr said.

"We used a full-time coach for the first time and the passion that Ricky put into that made sure it worked.

" ... There were no other distractions. He leapt into the role that was presented to him."

Carr said the series had been a success for the Blues despite the result.

"It was certainly successful, although we didn't win the series," he said.

"We were certainly in a position to win game one (lost 16-12). Game three (a 34-24 win to Queensland) might have been a non-event if that happened but we didn't (win) which is typical Origin.

"To have the Premier of NSW in and out of the dressing room before and after all the games, to have the Governor of NSW in the dressing room after the last game means the state's committed from the top down to the team."

Elsewhere, Newcastle on Friday received a $3.5 million injection from Nathan Tinkler's Hunter Sports Group (HSG) as part of the parties' latest agreement.

HSG has until August 10 to come up with a bank guarantee for a further $20 million.

"The proposal that was put forward by the Hunter Sports Group last week has been adhered to today and our expectation is that this matter will be settled on August 10," Knights' chairman Robert Tew told AAP.

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