NSW have enlisted legends Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler, Danny Buderus, Anthony Minichiello and Mark O’Meley in an effort to break Queensland’s stranglehold on the State of Origin shield.
Blues coach Laurie Daley has brought in the five greats of the state as mentors for the 2017 series.
In the first half of next season, the they will conduct position-specific sessions for the Blues’ emerging players.
Johns and Fittler will run skills sessions with the halves candidates while Buderus tutors the best young hookers, Minichiello takes the fullbacks under his wing and O’Meley handles the forwards.
“Those guys will be running positional skills sessions for our up-and-coming players and that will be available for some of our players in the NRL as well,” Daley said.
“That will be up to the NRL coaches to decide if their players attend or not.”
Queensland have long brought in Maroons greats to inspire their troops, and it’s a tactic Daley is beginning to tap into.
NSW and Parramatta great Peter Sterling will this year serve as an adviser to Daley as he looks to the stars of yesteryear to fill his brains trust.
“(The greats) have got four or five sessions planned in the new year,” Daley said.
“It’s something Freddy (Fittler) is really passionate about. Particularly dealing with those younger kids.
“We’ll get them into the system and they’ll be position-specific. We’ll have guys like Mini with the fullbacks, Joey and Freddy with the halves and Danny Buderus with the hookers and Mark O’Meley with the forwards. It’s really exciting.”