NSW Origin great Andrew Johns is backing the Blues to build a dynasty under Brad Fittler’s tutelage, after the Blues coach extended his deal through 2021.
After a Queensland era of dominance between 2006 and 2017, Fittler has turned the Origin tide back to the Blues, winning his first two series as coach of NSW.
Following his great mate’s extension, Johns forecasted Fittler to build a dynasty for NSW similar to that of Queensland’s due to having the better batch of players at his disposal.
“It’s just a great batch of players at the moment,” he told Wide World of Sports’ Immortal Behaviour.
“Queensland had their dominance and full credit to them. (Johnathan) Thurston, (Cameron) Smith, (Cooper) Cronk, (Greg) Inglis, (Billy) Slater, that was just an incredible batch of players.
“But at the moment, we have the better players for whatever reason, and it’s hard to put a finger on it. You just get a really good batch now and then.
“(Fittler) could do it for the next five or 10 years. He runs a great ship, everyone can see the way Freddy does it. He’s got some great people around him.
“Some of his ideas are a little bit left-of-centre, but that’s Freddy, and everyone agrees with it.
“The players love him and everyone loves working around him. He’s got a great environment there.”
Johns also suggested Roosters star Victor Radley is a certainty to make his Origin debut this year, but said the time wasn’t right for Eels enforcer Nathan Brown just yet.
“I have no doubt Victor will be in there this year. He’ll play a part, where, I don’t know,” Johns said.
“In the future, he’ll be there or thereabouts, (Brown) will play without a doubt before the end of his career, but not this year.
“I had a quick look at the locks, you have Jake Trbojevic, Victor Radley, Cameron Murray, Dale Finucane, so they’re four players who are probably in front of Nathan at the moment.
“Three of those players played last year, Jake Trbojevic, Cam Murray and Finucane, and they were incredible.”