Rugby league supremo Phil Gould has declared he is ready to answer Brad Fittler’s calling and join the NSW Blues coaching staff.
Fittler is currently off-contract but will reportedly earn a 12-month extension, with Gould potentially in his plans after a coaching staff shake-up.
Blues legends Paul McGregor, Danny Buderus and Andrew Johns are all on the chopping block, while Greg Alexander has stood down as chief adviser.
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Gould, who is the most successful NSW coach in Origin history, told the SMH he would be willing to make a Blues return.
“When it comes to Brad Fittler, he has never asked me for much … anything I’ve ever asked him to do, he has always said yes,” Gould said.
“And the same applies to me, anything he asks, I always say yes. We will worry about Origin if he asks.”
Gould won six and drew one series across his eight years as NSW coach and now could have a huge financial incentive to return.
The Laundy family, who own a $1 billion pub empire, are reportedly willing to back Fittler financially as Blues head coach.
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Stu Laundy is reportedly pushing for Andrew Johns’ responsibilities to increase as well as Gould to be introduced ahead of the 2024 series.
“The combination of Freddy, our second most capped coach, and Gus [Gould], our statistically most successful, is simply the most potent stewardship our state could possibly conjure up,” Laundy said.
“My friend Laurie Daley, an Immortal in waiting, was cut too soon and our long-term momentum lost as a result.
“I’m so passionate about returning order to the Origin arena, and Freddy, Gus and Joey (Johns) are the holy trinity we require to do so and enjoy my firm and total backing in this regard.
“Whatever it takes, I’m in. I want to help the Blues team.”