Rugby League

License article

Parish tipped to earn his stripes at Tigers

NSW coach Laurie Daley has backed Matt Parish as the man to turn around Wests Tigers, even though the move would hinder the Blues' chances of ending Queensland's domination of State of Origin.

The endorsement comes as Daley aims to build the Blues brand into the biggest in Australian sport.

The Tigers are in the process of interviewing candidates to replace Tim Sheens as head coach, with Parish, Jason Taylor, Mick Potter and Kevin Walters in the mix for the post. Daley was strong in his support of Parish, even though it would mean he would lose him as a Blues assistant next year.

''He'd do a fantastic job as Tigers coach,'' Daley said. ''Obviously if he got the position he wouldn't be doing Origin. Matty has been my assistant for Country over the past three years and NSW with Ricky and with Toovs at Manly.

''He's a head coach, it's not a matter of if he gets a job but when. He's well credentialled, he's very disciplined. He's hard but fair and he's also very knowledgeable.

''He's a former player at that club and I think he ticks all the boxes. Having said that, I'm sure the other guys who have put in for it may have the same credentials, but I can only go on who I've worked with and that's Matt.


''He's extremely good.''

Parish, who played with Balmain in the 1980s and early 1990s, is set to join Ricky Stuart's coaching staff at Parramatta but the Eels won't stand in his way if he has an opportunity to become an NRL head coach.

While NSW are facing the prospect of an eighth successive series loss, it has not stopped Daley from setting some high expectations on and off the field.

The former Canberra, NSW and Australian pivot believes the Blues can become the ''most recognisable brand in the country''.

''Most definitely,'' he said. ''Given the circumstances of Origin and the good job that Ricky has done has got NSW to the forefront of everyone's mind. Despite the fact that we have been losing, and everyone is sick of that, our brand is very strong.

''Ricky made mention that there are eight Immortals and six of them are from NSW, so there is a rich tradition and history here.

''This should be the most recognisable brand in the country. That's one of my aims, to have kids wanting to play for NSW wearing our shirts in the backyard rather than a Roosters or Raiders jersey.

''It would be great to see kids embracing the Blues and the culture we've been able to create.

''We want everyone on board knowing who we are and what we want to do.''

Daley will oversee emerging Origin camps in December and January in an attempt to stop the Queensland juggernaut. It will be a chance to cast his eye over the best young talent in the state.

''We want all NSW to unite and be supportive,'' he said. ''I'm sure we've got kids out there in NSW who support Queensland because they have seen them win.

''We don't want that. They have to feel the same passion as the players and the players have got to feel the same passion as the fans. Everybody has to jump on board.''

Twitter - @proshenks