Storm stars on Fit­tler’s NSW radar

The Observer - - LEAGUE SPORT - — Nick Smart

NEW NSW Blues State of Ori­gin coach Brad Fit­tler says a stack of Melbourne Storm play­ers will be strongly con­sid­ered for next year’s Ori­gin opener at the MCG.

Queens­land has won 11 of the past 12 Ori­gin se­ries and Fit­tler has been charged with try­ing to end the long-stand­ing hu­mil­i­a­tion of his home state.

Storm has fed the Queens­land side for many years but not too many Blues play­ers have come from Craig Bel­lamy’s all-con­quer­ing Melbourne team.

That could change in 2018 with Fit­tler declar­ing Storm premier­ship play­ers Dale Fin­u­cane and Josh Addo-Carr strongly in the frame for se­lec­tion.

“They will be ab­so­lutely con­sid­ered, and also young Cur­tis Scott,” Fit­tler said.

“He’s 20-years old and he’s won a grand fi­nal with Melbourne, which is pretty im­pres­sive.

“There are a few blokes down there (in the frame), and any­one un­der Craig Bel­lamy gets the most out of them­selves.

“So they’d be some of the first play­ers I’d lean to­wards if we know they can han­dle the big oc­ca­sions well.”

Fit­tler’s first game in charge as Blues coach will be in Melbourne on Wed­nes­day, June 6 next year.

Ori­gin will re­turn to Melbourne fol­low­ing the suc­cess of 2015, when just over 91,000 packed out the MCG to watch NSW edge out Queens­land in Game 2.

The first time Ori­gin was played at the MCG was in 1994, and Fit­tler was play­ing for the Blues that night.

“It was awe­some. I loved walk­ing out of the tun­nel and it re­minded me of the old Wem­b­ley,” Fit­tler said.

“You can’t be lost on the his­tory there (of the MCG) and the size of the place.

“I think the year af­ter we came back had a huge brawl and I think that ex­cited the lo­cals.”

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