True Blue Steve Simpson has urged the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues to give Queensland a taste of their own medicine about State of Origin dominance, declaring it’s “time to put the foot on the throat and give it to them.”
The former Newcastle backrower, who played 13 games for the Blues, caught up with some of his former teammates in Scone on Tuesday during the Hogs For The Homeless tour.
Simpson dropped in on a school visit from the Hogs to touch base with Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler, and True Blues Danny Buderus, Mark Hughes, Nathan Hindmarsh and Mark O’Meley.
He said he had enjoyed watching the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues win last year’s Origin series to end a four-year drought and hoped it would lead to a period of dominance similar to what the Maroons enjoyed after winning 11 of the past 13 series including eight in a row.
“It’s time to put the foot on the throat and give it to them,” Simpson told nswrl.com.au
“They’ve given it to us for a long time. Their turn’s coming. They’re going to be scratching for players in the next few years so it could be time to take advantage of it.”
Simpson said he agreed with Fittler’s decision to blood 11 new faces for the opening game of last year’s State of Origin series, which eventually saw the Blues win the Shield for the first time in 2014 after just two games.
By the end of the series Fittler had handed 13 players their Origin debuts including Damien Cook, Latrell Mitchell, Tom Trbojevic, Nathan Cleary and Josh Addo-Carr.
“I thought it was about time to be honest,” Simpson said.
“Don’t get me wrong, the blokes who had been there for a long time tried their best and did a reasonable job but I think it was time for a fresh start and I’m glad he did it.
”They’ve got a big forward pack, and Nathan Cleary’s there and exciting outside backs too. I think if they keep those blokes together and keep them fit then hopefully the tide has turned.”
Simpson also said he would have found some of the innovations Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler has brought into the camp – including walking barefoot after training, yoga sessions, and no mobile phones in camp – a little difficult to deal with if he’d been in the team.
“It’s something different and to be honest, probably when I was playing I would have bought into it but I would have been raising an eyebrow or two,” Simpson said.
“But whatever works. They had a good side for a long time and obviously Queensland’s really good players came to the end of a run but it’s an opportunity now for the side he’s got to really dig in and try and reverse the tide.”