Recently-appointed NSW State of Origin adviser Peter Sterling has revealed the major reason he accepted the new role was the chance to work alongside Blues coach Laurie Daley.
The former Parramatta Eels great has shied away from coaching roles in his post-playing days, and while quick to point out that his latest role was is no exception, Sterling made it clear that Daley played a key part in him joining the NSWRL.
"I think it was because Laurie rang me. I was asked, and I was asked by the right person," Sterling said.
"It wasn't an immediate 'yes' because it obviously has an impact on what I do in my job as part of the media. In the end I thought that this was something that I can do, I think I have something to offer and it was with the right bloke.
"If it hadn't have been with Laurie then it probably would have been a 'no'. I have enormous respect for him in every way. He was a wonderful player and all of those kinds of things, but he's a great bloke, he's passionate about what we're trying to achieve, and that's infectious."
Sterling will play an important role in choosing players for the Emerging Blues squad in the coming days, and will advise Daley over the next few months about tactics, team chemistry and what it takes to be an Origin player.
"I'm still not quite sure how this role will evolve under Laurie. He'll make the decisions, I've got opinions, and I guess that's why I am here," Sterling said.
"I'll be staying away from the coaching side of things, that's [for sure]. With styles of play and things like that, I'd like to have an input.
"This is an ideal situation for me. I watch every game every week, I know the players and I played Origin. I think that puts me in a good position to sit back and have a look at what I know is important in relation to being an Origin player and what makes an Origin player.
"Anywhere that I can help Laurie in the preparation or whatever of this football team, I'm here in that capacity.
"Since speaking to Laurie I've thought about a host of different things. Whether I'll be asked about those remains to be seen. I guess I'm looking at things a little bit differently in relation to sitting back and enjoying it as a fan and as a commentator."
For Daley, picking Sterling to be his right-hand man was a no-brainer.
The former Blues halfback has watched the game evolve over the years in his roles at Channel Nine, Fox Sports and Triple M and will be a key asset for the Blues as they try to halt Queensland's recent Origin dominance.
"Pete is a guy who I've always had a great deal of respect for. He's one of the legends of the game and certainly one of New South Wales' greatest," Daley said.
"He watches football every weekend, he's got his finger on the pulse, I think he's a great judge of a player and a person, and not only will he select a side, he'll be all over what we're trying to do.
"We'll be consulting one another on a regular basis about players' performances. I couldn't think of anyone better than Pete to be helping me.
"At times coaching can be a lonely position and you need someone there that you can trust and someone you can really call on and bounce around ideas. I think I've got the right guy. I've got a huge amount of respect for Pete.
"I was excited when he told me he'd come on board because he doesn't commit to a lot of things. He's very selective with what he does, and for me, that's a sign that he wants to be a part of this successful program."
This article first appeared on NRL.com