NSW coach Laurie Daley is keen on blooding more Blues youngsters this State of Origin series.
NSW coach Laurie Daley says he will look to continue to blood young State of Origin talent this year as the Blues seek to break Queensland’s eight-year series dominance.
After another disappointing 2-1 loss last year, the performances of debutants Andrew Fifita and Boyd Cordner were two positives Daley could take out of his first year as Blues coach.
Cordner and Fifita had breakout years and were part of the Australia squad that won back the World Cup.
Both are set to become long-serving Blues players and up against Queensland’s ageing stars, youth could prove to be a trump card for Daley this year.
“We had a lot of guys last year that debuted and a new breed, a young breed coming through, Boyd Cordner, Andrew Fifita, Josh Reynolds and Blake Ferguson was another,” Daley told AAP
“We just have to continue to build on that and look to unearth some new players. There is usually someone who jumps out of the ground all the time and when they do that it is always a good feeling when you get some young guys around the camp because they are exuberant and they bring some real enthusiasm into the squad.”
NSW began their earliest ever Origin preparation on Friday as Daley called 25 players who have been part of the Blues squad over the last two years into a two-day bonding camp.
But the former Canberra premiership winner stressed he would be also be looking to players outside that squad to play a part in his 2014 campaign.
One of those players who won’t be involved is Ferguson. The former Canberra and Cronulla three-quarter played a starring role in NSW’s game one victory last year before missing the next two fixtures due to an off-field indiscretion.
Ferguson is currently waiting to be sentenced after being found guilty of indecent assault and is unlikely to return to rugby league this year.
“I haven’t spoken to Blake for a while he is a guy who has plenty of people in his corner,” Daley said.
“I know Choc (Anthony Mundine) is trying to take him under his wing so hopefully that is all working out.
“Blake is a very talented player but at the moment he has some other issues that he has to deal with and I think he is a guy that just needs to take baby steps at the moment and get himself in order and whatever comes from that will come.”