The Five-Year Plan That's Given The Blues A Shot This Origin Series

Forward planning

The Five-Year Plan That's Given The Blues A Shot This Origin Series

Image: @sportingnewsau

Success breeds success.

It's the simple philosophy that has helped NSW rise from State of Origin embarrassments to favourites to clinch this year's series, with a game in hand, on Wednesday night.

Outwardly, the Blues are refusing to get ahead of themselves.

Internally, there have been massive changes since the dark days of 2010.

At that point, NSW had failed to take the series to a decider for the third time in four years, and had just suffered their first whitewash since 1989.

The NRL's current head of football Brian Canavan was brought in to conduct a holistic review, and in 2011 the first Blues in Waiting camp was conducted.

Those 53 players included an 18-year-old Boyd Cordner, Aaron Woods, Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson, Josh Jackson and Andrew Fifita.

In 2012 under coach Ricky Stuart, the Blues went within a point of ending Queensland's dominance - sunk by a Cooper Cronk field goal in the decider at Suncorp Stadium.

Then Laurie Daley arrived in 2013, armed with a bigger view for the future by borrowing directly from the past.

"One thing Laurie was really strong about was having ex-Origin players involved in the whole Origin pathway," NSW Rugby League CEO David Trodden told AAP.

"So that as soon as an under-16 come into the team there was an ex-Origin player with them and they started to get a feel for the culture straight away."

It's a move that's seen Brad Fittler coach the NSW under-16 and under-18 sides in recent seasons, and Danny Buderus take the the under-20s job from fellow Blues legend Dean Pay this year.

They have been joined by the likes of Andrew Johns, Peter Sterling, Anthony Minichiello, Steve Menzies, Mark O'Meley and Matt King assists right up to the Origin side.

"Laurie's theory is by involving all those people is that young guys can't help but learn," Trodden said.

Daley's influence has been far beyond the juniors too.

While the Blues have won the past six Origin under-20s, Trodden credits Daley with forcing a generational change at the top that will set them up for success well into the future.

It's headlined by the fact that seven NSW players aged 27 or under are now playing in at least their third Origin series.

"We have a coach who had the courage to focus on long-sustained success rather than a short-term view," Trodden said.

"Laurie has spent three years ensuring that we have a smooth transition generational change.

"We will see over the fruit of Laurie's hard work in managing a generational change over the next few years."

How long Daley remains coach is unknown. He is off contract this year and both he and Trodden remain coy on his future.

But his implementations, along with the budding list of up-and-coming coaches with experience, should leave the Blues confident well into the future.

"We're not near the end of our journey," Trodden said.

"We're right in the middle of it."

- AAP

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