Stuart douses talk of NRL return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stuart douses talk of NRL return

Steve Jancetic and Liam FitzGibbon 13/07/2011 06:27:45 PM Comments (0)

NSW State of Origin coach Ricky Stuart held his first planning meeting ahead of the 2012 series on Wednesday - dousing speculation he was poised to dump the Blues in favour of a return to the NRL.

A fresh round of rumours regarding Stuart's future emerged on Wednesday when his right-hand man during this year's Origin series, Matt Parish, inadvertently insinuated his NSW boss was ready to jump ship.

In his first media conference since taking up the head coaching role at UK Super League club Salford, Parish revealed Stuart had tried to convince him to join him at his next coaching role.

"Yeah he (Stuart) is a bit dirty 'cause I think he wanted me to go with him to where he's going," Parish told reporters at the Willows.

"But, no, he was (supportive) and he's been fantastic as a mentor and someone I've been able to speak to."

Asked if it was a tough decision to take up the Salford job instead of sticking with Stuart, Parish said: "No, not really because wherever he goes, he's going to be the head coach. I want his job (a head coaching job).

"We had a giggle about it actually because before we said goodbye, we were sort of talking about it ... and he said 'you know, when we coach against each other, I'll know how to get under your skin now'."

Stuart, a former coach at Sydney Roosters and Cronulla, has been linked with a return to the NRL for some time, with the most recent reports suggesting he could be in line to replace Kevin Moore at the struggling Canterbury.

However Stuart denied he had spoken to any club about a return to the NRL ranks, which would force him to forgo his role with NSW.

"It's pretty easy, I'm not going to a club," Stuart told AAP.

"I keep getting this question every day.

"I had an Origin meeting today to be quite honest.

"I haven't spoken to a club."

Asked about Parish heading to the UK, Stuart said:

"When he had the opportunity to go to Salford, I endorsed that - he's got to take that role on and get that experience."

NSW players to a man urged their coach not to quit after inspiring NSW to gallant performance this season.

While they lost a sixth straight series to Queensland, it was generally viewed that the Blues had made progress in 2011, thanks in no small part to Stuart's influence at the helm.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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