Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has slammed the NSW Rugby League’s “disgraceful” treatment of Blues coach Laurie Daley after the State of Origin mentor was sacked.
The NSWRL board announced on Friday that Daley, whose deal expired this year, would not be offered the chance to continue in charge of the Blues.
Stuart says Daley deserved to be shown “a lot more respect” given his standing as one of the Blues’ greatest players of all time.
“Laurie is one of the greatest legends of Origin football, and being a Blue he should have been treated with a lot more respect than the way it was done,” Stuart said.
“I thought it was disgraceful how it was done. He deserves a lot more respect in regards to how he lost his position.”
Daley released a statement acknowledging the reason for his sacking in a “results-driven” industry but Stuart maintains the NSWRL went about things the wrong way.
“You’ve only got to have a couple of smarts about yourself to know that was a very disrespectful way to lose your job,” Stuart said.
“If they knew it was going to happen, it should have been done quietly and calmly, and let Laurie finish off the way he wanted to finish off and let him have an announcement.”
Daley took the reins from Stuart in 2013 and coached the Blues to their drought-breaking series victory a year later, but maintained a modest 6-9 record at the interstate level.
NSW assistant Brad Fittler is a frontrunner to replace Daley, while former Blues players Craig Fitzgibbon, John Cartwright and Geoff Toovey, plus left-field option Des Hasler, could also feature as options.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy looms as the favourite if an NRL coach takes over the role.
Stuart has coached at Origin level and says an NRL mentor taking over the high pressure Blues gig “can be done”. with AAP