Origin's Next Generation
The Blues’ next generation underwent medicals, fitness testing and Origin attitude workshops surrounded by a sea of rugby league legends, including NSW coach Laurie Daley and former skipper Brad Fittler, in a program run by NSWRL’s Performance Programs Manager Jamie Feeney and overseen by General Manager – Football, Barrie-Jon Mather.
The under-20s, gunning for five consecutive victories, are determined to continue the good work.
“Laurie and ‘Stick’ (former Blues coach Ricky Stuart) put it in place a while ago – the Pathways, it’s a really good concept,” under-20s coach and 12-time Blue Dean Pay, also in attendance, told NSWRL.com.au.
“The kids, the young men here, are here to understand what good preparation is all about and be prepared to play a game.
"We enjoy winning, that’s for sure. Getting anything over Queensland is nice! These young blokes coming in, a lot of them are training with NRL teams so they’ve got a good perspective on how professional it’s got to be – it’s a real honour to have them in, show them a few things and coach them."
Pay said the legends’ influence at the Pathways camps was significant.
“I think the main message is it means a lot to us,” Pay said.
“We’re all here and we’re all rolling in the right direction. For all these guys to be here and highlight what it means to us, it’s got to rub off on them.”
Pay, though, stressed development was the focus – not on continuing an impressive winning streak.
“It’s not about the four in a row, it’s about this year and making sure we’ve got a wave of progression there for NSW,” Pay said.
“That’s the main objective, that’s what it’s all about.”