Fittler’s major boost after 14-year first

Brad Fittler has been rewarded for becoming the first New South Wales coach to win back-to-back series in 14 years with a one-year contract extension.

Fittler was on Wednesday re-signed until the end of 2021, taking his tenure until at least a fourth year in charge of the Blues.

It means he will become the third longest-serving NSW coach, behind Phil Gould (24 games) and Laurie Daley (15 games).

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“I am really grateful for the NSWRL Board’s strong show of faith in me and our Origin and pathways program,” Fittler said.

“It also means my coaching future won’t be a distraction throughout our preparation and defence of the Origin shield.

“I am really fortunate to have this job and it gives me great pride in seeing how much it unites the state.

“Given the year that the entire community has endured from droughts and bushfires to the COVID-19 pandemic, I can’t think of a better way to end the year and lift community spirits.

“I can’t wait for Origin.”

JUST IN – @NSWRL extend Brad Fittler’s contract as @NSWBlues coach until the end of 2021.

No surprise to see Freddy stay in charge beyond this year given back-to-back series wins in 2018 & 2019

How many consecutive series can the Blues win?

2️⃣ ❓
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8️⃣ ❓👀👀👀 pic.twitter.com/09FA47O30v

Fittler has revolutionised NSW’s approach to State of Origin since taking charge in 2018, providing a breath of fresh air for players.

In his two successful series, he has barred mobile phones in camp, had players train without shoes in earthing sessions and promoted walking to the ground for matches.

“Winning two from two series, the board obviously could not be happier with the way things are going with Origin,” NSW Rugby League CEO David Trodden said.

“They were very pleased to extend Brad’s contract when they met today. They have every confidence the run of success will continue this year.”

The venues for the November State of Origin series are expected to be confirmed by the NRL in the coming months.

Part of that will include news that Game II will remain at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, putting off a move to the SCG that would have been forced with the ground’s now-abandoned redevelopment.

— AAP

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