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NSW Origin feud: Ray Hadley tells Bob Fulton to stay on

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Ray Hadley on his marriage break-down

In his Friday morning program, Ray Hadley tells listeners that he faces "exactly the same problems, off-air, as you do every day."

PT0M0S 620 349

Rugby league Immortal Bob Fulton will remain as NSW State of Origin coach Laurie Daley's advisor after being urged by Ray Hadley on Friday afternoon not to quit the post due to his close friendship with his 2GB radio colleague.

Daley on Friday accused the top-rating morning host and Channel 9 caller of ‘‘unsettling our entire campaign” by angling to have Blues assistant coach Matt Parish stood down from that role because he is in a relationship with Hadley’s estranged wife Suzanne.

Oversight: Bob Fulton (back, right) sits behind Laurie Daley (front, right) and Matt Parish (front, left) during last year's Origin series.

Oversight: Bob Fulton (back, right) sits behind Laurie Daley (front, right) and Matt Parish (front, left) during last year's Origin series. Photo: Getty Images

NSW are due to announce their squad for the first match of this year’s interstate series on Tuesday ahead of Origin I at Suncorp Stadium on May 28.

Fulton, the former Australian captain, is a key player in that selection process, as the NSW Rugby League’s appointed advisor to Daley.

However, the 66-year-old’s close association with Hadley leaves him stuck in a middle of a bitter feud and his loyalty to the radio shock jock led him to consider quitting the Blues hierarchy on the eve of the Origin series.

Radio host Ray Hadley.

Radio host Ray Hadley. Photo: Peter Rae

Fulton said on Friday morning he would have to weigh up whether not he remained in his position with NSW.

‘‘The answer is really I guess I’ve got to look at it,’’ Fulton told Fairfax Media. ‘‘Obviously the thought has gone through my head. I’d be telling you a lie if I didn’t say that.’’

After a conversation with Hadley on Friday afternoon, though, Fulton decided not to walk away from the Blues, with Hadley adamant he should not sever ties because of his personal issues. 

Suzanne and Ray Hadley.

Suzanne and Ray Hadley. Photo: Supplied

Hadley’s closeness to Fulton was apparent on Friday morning when he thanked the Manly legend for his daily support since the breakdown of his marriage.

The pair are long-term colleagues on 2GB’s weekend Continuous Call Team rugby league program.

"Bob Fulton has been providing me with strength and support and, to be honest, without his help and advice, I'd probably be in big trouble today," Hadley said.

"He has phoned me every day to check on my welfare. Other people have either sent me a text or called to simply say 'Are you OK?'"

Daley did not want Fulton to quit over the Hadley drama but it was feared the position of the Blues’ senior statesman may simply be unworkable. He had been kept abreast of developments since Hadley called NSWRL chief executive David Trodden about Parish and his ex-wife last week.

Fulton, previously a long-time NSW selector before the panel was disbanded and replaced with a lone advisor to the coach in a restructure of the Origin set-up, said he had no issues with Daley as the pair finalise the task of picking a squad for Origin I and was hopeful that NSW officials and staff could put the episode behind them.

It is unclear how the matter will affect Fulton's relationship with Parish but because the advisor does not have a "hands on" job with the team, working only with Daley on selection, it is hoped that will not be a problem.

‘‘I think there is plenty of dialogue still to go with this issue for everybody,’’ Fulton said. ‘‘But put it this way, we came through the Super League war and all the aggravation that was going on through that, a lot of friendships were busted and now some of those people are best of friends.’’

He does not believe NSW players will allow themselves to be distracted by the tension between Hadley and Daley and the subject of Parish’s coaching role but says the focus needs to turn quickly to preparing for the opening game of the series. Daley’s squad will enter their pre-game camp at Coffs Harbour next Wednesday. The Blues are trying to end an eight-year losing streak against Queensland.

‘‘I’m a minnow in the overall scheme of things in all this. The thing is got to to be taken into consideration is there is a team that is playing an Origin match in 10 or 12 days’ time, and we really do need to be concerning ourselves with that team,’’ Fulton said.

‘‘I think the players are professional and they can put things like this to one side. The answer is: I don’t think it will be an issue.’’ 

17 comments so far

  • Can someone explain why anybody is listening to or caring less about Hadley's comments and complaints? Whoever his estranged wife is now choosing to see, whether that just happens to be a NSW assistant coach or the local bus driver, has absolutely zero to do with Laurie Daley and the running of the NSW Blues team. It's about time somebody put bully boy Hadley and all his toys firmly back in his cot.

    Commenter
    That'll do me
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    May 16, 2014, 1:05PM
    • Totally agree - his wife has seen the light, if only other people would. A bully and a lunatic.

      Commenter
      Hadley who?
      Date and time
      May 16, 2014, 8:44PM
  • With these guys running the game in NSW, we will never beat Queensland!

    Commenter
    Caligula
    Date and time
    May 16, 2014, 8:43PM
    • For goodness sake, is there no limit to Hadley's narcissism? Millions of relationships break down every day, why does Hadley think he has to tell someone who knows someone's cousins, brothers friends cat what the should do about their job?

      Forget other peoples job Hadley, and put your efforts into getting yourself a life sweetie.

      Commenter
      My Pet Dog
      Location
      Bonny Hills
      Date and time
      May 16, 2014, 9:28PM
      • The one common denominator in the last 8 years? Bob Fulton. Let him walk, no one at NSWRL should stand in his way.

        The biggest myth in rugby league

        Commenter
        rayj
        Date and time
        May 16, 2014, 9:59PM
        • Hear, hear. Couldn't think of anyone the Blues would miss less.

          Commenter
          Blues
          Date and time
          May 17, 2014, 7:00AM
      • It's a shame about Raaaaay

        Commenter
        Evan Dando
        Location
        Punters Club, Melbun
        Date and time
        May 16, 2014, 10:23PM
        • Poor Ray. Whenever bullies are hard done by they cry crocodile tears. How does he have any say on any of this anyway? He's a hack who used to call greyhound races. It's a sad indictment of Australian society that people like Ray Hadley and Alan Jones have so much power in the media. I like rugby league but turn off when Ray Hadley is broadcasting. The only decent voice at Channel 9 is Peter Sterling.

          Commenter
          Robert
          Date and time
          May 17, 2014, 9:04AM
          • Yes, how was he allowed to get so such power and control? In the end he is only a radio station employee.

            Commenter
            Tc
            Date and time
            May 17, 2014, 9:14AM
            • Ray Hadley may be all those things , but listening occasionally to him and hearing him speak to some troubled people indicates that he knows a thing or two about depression . Media personalities are no exceptions . He says he's doing it tough , so let's believe him .

              Commenter
              Mankad
              Location
              The Bush
              Date and time
              May 17, 2014, 10:48AM

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