Some will disagree with the decision, whilst others will agree with it – but regardless of your standpoint on his appointment as coach, the New South Wales Rugby League have made the decision to appoint former Raiders utility and now Fox Sports commentator Laurie Daley, as the NSW coach for the next 2 seasons.
For Daley himself, he plans to approach the new role and challenge, much in the same way that he did as a player. .
â€œThe selectors took a gamble on me as a young rookie and we won three Origin series in a row,â€ Daley said at a media conference at Rugby League Central today.
â€œI will approach coaching the same as my playing days â€¦ I will be full-on and my preparation will be meticulous.
â€œWe will be up against a pretty special Queensland side, but the passion and pride shown by the Blues players this year leaves me no doubt we can get the job done.â€
Daley is no stranger to the realm of coaching, either, with the former Raider the current coach of the NSW Country team, a position he has held since 2008 – as well as being coach of the Indigenous All-Stars for the last 2 years.
In light of all that, Daley is looking forward to the new challenge of being State of Origin coach, and whilst he will start planning things already, he has no intention to disrupt NSW players who will be involved in this years finals series.
I have spoken with (NSW Captain) Paul Gallen, but apart from that, I think it is important to let the players focus on finishing off the 2012 season,â€ Daley said.
â€œThat wonâ€™t stop me from getting started on planning though. The moment I was offered the position, my mind instantly started thinking about what I would do. I want to start sooner rather than later. I am very excited.â€
Daley also believes that Origin has come a long way over the last few years, describing it as the toughest overall series, that he has seen in years.
â€œRicky (Stuart) did a fantastic job over the past two years in closing the gap between Queensland and New South Wales and I want to build on that legacy and leave my own legacy behind,â€ Daley said.
â€œOrigin is a theatre of dreams and, from what the players showed me this year, those dreams can come to reality. Thatâ€™s our challenge.â€
Mr John Chalk, the NSWRL Chairman, said that although coming to the final decision was tough, the NSWRL board unanimously agreed that Laurie Daley was the man for the job.
â€œLaurie Daley was a very successful State of Origin player and he has coached the Country team and the Indigenous All Stars side, so his coaching experience in one-off games and one-off series has been extensive,â€ Chalk said.
â€œWe are confident he can continue to build on the incredible job Ricky Stuart did instilling pride in the Blues players and supporters over the past two years.â€