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Jasper Bruce

Daley not interested in NSW State of Origin return

Laurie Daley has counted out a return to the NSW State of Origin role he vacated in 2017. (Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS)

Former NSW boss Laurie Daley has opted against pursuing the State of Origin head-coaching role vacated by Brad Fittler.

On Thursday afternoon, Fittler declined the offer of a one-year extension to remain in charge of the Blues following back-to-back series defeats, leaving the role with immediate effect.

It is understood the deal offered by NSW Rugby League (NSWRL) would have come with changes to the structure of the job, which had been a full-time position for the six years of Fittler's tenure.

Fittler's exit left the Blues to ponder his replacement options, a week after he had pitched for his job at a NSWRL board meeting.

Daley was Fittler's predecessor at the Blues, holding the position between 2013 and 2017 and posting a 40 per cent win rate for one series win from five attempts.

But the Canberra great famously coached the Blues to Origin glory in 2014, breaking a Queensland run that had yielded eight consecutive series wins.

Daley is currently employed in a promotional role by a gambling company, which he would need to vacate to pursue any coaching position.

But the 53-year-old insists he has no interest in returning to the Blues as head coach.

"I'm always happy to help if asked, always happy to help," he told the Big Sports Breakfast.

"But (the head coach role) is for someone else."

There appears no clear option to take over from Fittler, and NSWRL may need to reconsider its policy that discounts coaches currently in charge of NRL clubs.

Canberra mentor Ricky Stuart and Cronulla's Craig Fitzgibbon are two possibilities, having respectively served as head coach and assistant at the Blues in the past.

Melbourne's Craig Bellamy, NSW coach between 2008 and 2010, appears another option but said in June he was not interested in becoming Fittler's successor.

"(A club coach) can do it, but you put yourself at risk," Daley said.

"If you go into an Origin series and your club team isn't travelling well, and for that period when you're away your team struggles, it can put a lot of pressure on the coach.

"Throw into the mix (that) you might lose State of Origin, and you know the impact it has on coaches - you could be copping from NSW and your club.

"It's a big risk. That would be the worry I have - paying a coach a $1 million a year and they will be spending a quarter of the season, six weeks, out of your system in State of Origin."

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