Laurie Daley plans to meet with discarded halfback Mitchell Pearce as the NSW coach kick-starts the Blues’ Origin series defence.
Daley is finalising a review into the series which ended Queensland’s eight-year dominance. As part of the planning, Daley will try to meet with a host of players split into three groups including the Origin incumbents, fringe and emerging players at the end of the NRL season.
Players such as Pearce and Andrew Fifita who played no part in this year’s Origin series are expected to be invited while South Sydney youngsters Alex Johnston and Dylan Walker and Tigers duo Luke Brooks and Curtis Sironen would come into calculations as emerging players.
Pearce was dumped in the lead-up to this year's Origin series following a boozy night out.
''I have spoken to Mitch a couple of times,'' Daley said. ''He has congratulated us on the series. I haven’t had the chance to sit down and talk about anything other than footy and he was so excited for everyone.
''Mitch knows that he has work to do. We’ll catch up with a lot of the guys that haven’t played Origin this year like Fifita. We’ll get them together at some point and discuss where they are at.
''I’ll give them general feedback, making sure they are hungry and still want to be part of it and let them know where they are at.''
Daley was a relieved man after leading the Blues to victory in his second series as coach. By his own admission he was a mess following last year’s loss and was left bedridden for weeks with shingles.
It led to Daley almost walking away from the coaching position only to have skipper Paul Gallen talk him out of it.
''The difference between winning and losing is massive,'' he said. ''I can remember this time last year I was not feeling great. It's amazing the difference. You're happy, you're proud, you've got energy, you want to do stuff. It's a completely different feel.
''It was one of those ones where I contemplated [quitting] but I didn't want to walk away from the team and when blokes like Gal are convinced you should stick at it and go again that was a positive. Then I had the support of [chief executive] Dave Trodden and the NSWRL board to commit to another year and I thought that's confidence shown in me so I was ready to rip and tear again.''
The Blues altered their preparations by relocating their training camp to Coffs Harbour this year. Daley anticipated more changes.
''We're in the process of seeing areas we can improve and what we'll do better next year,'' Daley said. ''It's exciting to work on what you think you can do better next year because there's a lot of things you can. It's just keeping your eyes wide open and trying to talk to as many people as you can to see where you may be able to get your next improvement.''