Pathways renew Buderus's Blues faith
Former New South Wales Origin skipper Danny Buderus's fears over the future of the Blues' No. 9 jumper have been alleviated in light of NSWRL's emphasis on junior pathway programs.
Buderus told NRL.com in April of his concern over the huge gap emerging in New South Wales' hooking stocks, with Nathan Peats and Robbie Farah the only two realistic selection options currently.
The Newcastle Knights legend was integral in NSWRL's recent specialist pathways day for players aged 14-22.
Buderus – who ran sessions alongside Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler, Anthony Minichiello and Mark O'Meley – proved a mentor for the young hookers present at ANZ Stadium last Wednesday.
"If you go right down into the 19, 20-year-old players that's where the next crop of good hookers are. They're all young and I'm really looking forward to watching them play this coming season," Buderus told NRL.com.
"Jacob Liddle is showing a lot of potential there at the Wests Tigers as is Cameron McInnes who has just had a big change going to the Dragons so I'd like to see them play well.
"There's a couple of boys who are a few years away but I'm sure they'll hit the NRL scene pretty hard when the time comes," he added.
"There might even be a few names unearthed this year in the hooking role."
Buderus believes junior programs are crucial for the future of the New South Wales Origin side.
The Blues have lost 10 of the past 11 State of Origin series with coach Laurie Daley appearing hell bent on changing recent history following the appointment of Peter Sterling to his coaching staff.
"You have to get (players) at 14 and start creating habits. Not just on the field but off the field as well, things that will make themselves the best that they can be," Buderus said.
"If and when they're in those pressure situation that Origin tosses up in the long run, they'll know how to handle them and also how to get the job done.
"It's important for everyone to be introduced to one another at a young age too so that they understand the culture the Blues want to implement.
"You can't just bring someone in and expect them to know that. You get them young so they can get their head around the fact Origin is a different style of footy."
Buderus believes his role at a pathways level for New South Wales will allow him his footy fix after recently resigning from his post as Knights' assistant coach.
"Not being in club land has refreshed me a little bit. Doing this positional stuff is something I enjoy doing and I'm looking forward to having a relationship with these guys throughout the year," Buderus said.
"I want them to be comfortable enough to give me a call for advice and things like that."