Blues appoint Fittler in quest for Origin glory
New South Wales have turned to favourite son Brad Fittler to help end Queensland's State of Origin dominance, appointing the former Blues star and captain as head coach.
Fittler will lead the Blues against Origin holders the Maroons in 2018 and 2019, NSW Rugby League (NSWRL) announced on Friday.
The 45-year-old - the Blues' most-capped player with 31 appearances - replaces Laurie Daley as NSW bid to end their run of just one series victory in 12 years.
"Given the importance of this appointment, the board has taken the appropriate amount of time to fully consider the issue," said chairman George Peponis.
"A number of highly qualified candidates expressed an interest in the position. I have no doubt that any one of them could have done a great job if the board had decided to appoint them.
"Ultimately, the board was unanimous in the view that Brad Fittler should be appointed to the position.
"Brad's qualifications for the role are impeccable and his standing within the game is pre-eminent. His recent efforts in the Rugby League World Cup with Lebanon serve as a reminder of his talents as a coach and they provide a window into the exciting future which he will bring the New South Wales State of Origin team."
NSWRL chief executive David Trodden added: "I couldn't be happier for Freddy with this appointment. In the last few years, he has made a massive impression on everyone in the NSWRL with the work he has done with our KARI City Origin team and our pathways teams.
"He has achieved outstanding success with these teams and in reality, he has spent those years preparing for the role which he has now been appointed to. NSWRL is in for a great ride and sustained success in the next few years beckons."