New Blues coach Ricky Stuart is going to get help from all angles, with a new committee being organised that will include former NSW greats such as Steve Mortimer, Brad Fittler and Andrew Johns, as NSW look for ways to end the dominance of Queensland.
The plan is to create a commitee type group, similar to the Queensland FOGS, and the change has already begun, both Phil Sigsworth and Max Krilich out, and Mortimer in as Chairman, with the hunt on for a CEO.
“It’s great that we’ve got an independent coach for NSW,” Mortimer said, “He’s a fiery bastard and I love him. He’s got a great winning attitude.
“We’ll be there in any capacity to support the players and the team.
“It’s totally appropriate and important that every single former NSW player – whether we win or lose – shows united support and get behind our current team. I love the game and I love my old Origin teammates.”
Another key reason behind the decision to start the committee, is to appeal to the grassroots football in country NSW, but also to give support to indigenous programs and education.
“The committee will form a company as a non-profit entity and then establish a five-man board of directors,” Mortimer said yesterday.
“We will be looking for two businessmen who have a passion for NSW who can bring their corporate diligence and experience to the table alongside three former NSW players.
Two of Australia’s biggest men in John Singleton and Gerry Harvey are the early favourites for the CEO role.
“We’re going to lay a concrete foundation for the NSW Origin Legends for now and for many years to come,” Mortimer said.
“We have to set up a business plan, our mission statement and our status, and then go looking for a CEO.
“We want to trade as a proper business and eventually do programs that help indigenous employment and, a passion for me in particular, helping country rugby league.
“That’s an area that has needed more attention from the game for a long while.
“The Legends will work closely with the NRL commission and other great bodies like Men Of League.
“And we want to get a message to the children of NSW wanting to play for the Blues in the future and to be proud of who we are.”