Peter Sterling wants to stay on as advisor to the NSW State of Origin coach but concedes it will be up to Laurie Daley’s successor to determine whether he retains a place in the Blues’ set-up.
The former Parramatta and NSW halfback was interviewed by the NSWRL board as part of its series review on Friday, the same day Daley was told he would not be offered a new contract after five years at the helm.
Brought on this year to replace Bob Fulton as the coach’s right-hand man, Sterling told directors he was keen to continue but made it clear on Monday he did not endorse Daley’s sacking.
“I’ve spoken to Laurie and he’s particularly disappointed,” Sterling told Channel 9.
“I know that he thought there was unfinished business to still take care of. I said during the course of that Origin campaign that win, lose or draw I thought Laurie was still the best man for the job. Nothing that I saw changed that or has changed that.”
Sterling acted as a sounding board for Daley in the lead-up to and during the Origin series, which was clinched emphatically by Queensland in game three in Brisbane.
Brad Fittler is considered the front runner to replace Daley and while the NSWRL has committed to an organisational overhaul of the Blues backroom structure, it may well be up to the new coach to determine who he wants alongside him in camp.
“[The board] asked me would I be keen to be involved in the future. I said that was the case, yes, but if I’m the new coach coming in the proviso for me is that I bring people that I want. So that’s a decision to be made by other people,” Sterling said.
“I loved every second of my involvement with Origin this year. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the result.”
Daley was axed amid claims about a Blues drinking culture, which reared its head when it was revealed that Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson had spent an afternoon at a Lennox Head pub five days before the deciding match. Bar bills run up by Blues staff during the series were also raised during the board’s review.
“There has been a lot made obviously of two players going down and spending an afternoon on a day off around alcohol,” Sterling said. “I can’t be too critical of that because I don’t know the degree of alcohol that was drunk on that particular day. It’s how I would have spent my day off … going down and sitting and having a bit of a flutter and getting away from Origin camp.”