Tate: Who the Blues should turn to
It's a formula that has served the Queensland team well for more than a decade and former Maroons great Brent Tate believes that New South Wales need to turn to some favourite sons to turn the Origin tide their way.
In the wake of the 2-1 Series defeat this year the New South Wales Rugby League announced last Friday that they would not be reappointing Laurie Daley for a sixth year and as such have begun the search to find his replacement.
But rather than look to one man to bring success back to the Blues, Tate has urged the NSWRL to consider a panel of former NSW greats to lead the state.
As Mal Meninga surrounded himself with the likes of Michael Hagan, Jason Hetherington, Allan Langer and Trevor Gillmeister to create a successful Queensland culture, Tate says in the Round 26 issue of Big League that appointing a group of Blues legends would have a positive influence on the current playing group.
"I think the Blues should appoint a group of legends to lead the side," Tate writes in this week's issue of Big League.
"I'd love to see Brad Fittler, Craig Fitzgibbon, Danny Buderus and Andrew Johns in the coaching ranks. They can all be very good coaches in their own right, and have plenty to give to the Blues.
"All those players have had success at Origin and Test level and it's important to have people who know what it takes. I think Fittler could be at the helm, but with a group of former players by his side.
"I think NSW would also love to see Phil Gould return in some sort of capacity. He has the best coaching record for the Blues and would be another great candidate."
A Queensland representative in 23 Origin matches for the Maroons, Tate says that he can understand the NSWRL's decision not to reappoint Daley but expressed his disappointment in the way that it was carried out.
"I understand the Blues want to go in a different direction because we're in a results-driven business, but the way it's been handled and what has come out in the media has been a little disrespectful to Daley," says Tate. "I really respect Laurie and think he's an impressive bloke.
"He may have won just one series in five years for the Blues, but he's done a great job over the past few years blooding some young players for NSW. Whoever becomes coach won't be taking over a mess, because Daley has left the Blues in a good position.
"At Origin level the coach is there to get the players physically and mentally ready for the big game, and I'm sure Daley did that this year.
"A lot of the responsibility has to fall back onto the players. I understand the decision they've made, but it's disappointing for Laurie."
The Round 26 issue of Big League highlights the latest milestone within reach of Storm skipper Cameron Smith, details all the top eight ramifications of the last round of the regular season, farewells the class of 2017 retirees and lists the top eight injury crises to have hit teams in rugby league history. On sale now at newsagents, supermarkets, at the ground and via www.magsonline.com.au/big-league.