One of Australia’s all-time great halfbacks and a highly respected commentator, Peter Sterling, has today been appointed as NSW VB Blues Coach Laurie Daley’s new adviser for the 2017 State of Origin Series.

Sterling, who replaces Immortal Bob Fulton, is a former Blues captain who played 13 Origin games for NSW (1981-88), 18 Tests for Australia and 227 games for Parramatta, winning four premierships; and is an Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame inductee.

Fulton stood down from the role this year because of increased responsibilities with the Manly Sea Eagles as Head of Football, after providing invaluable support and guidance to Daley and his two Blues coaching predecessors, Ricky Stuart and Craig Bellamy.

The NSWRL Board convened a special meeting this morning to confirm Sterling’s appointment, which follows their decision two weeks ago to make two other key staff changes following a review of the 2016 State of Origin campaign.

Sterling will now join Sea Eagles assistant coach and True Blue John Cartwright, the new assistant coach, and Victoria Cross recipient Mark Donaldson, the new assistant team manager, for the Blues’ 2017 Origin campaign.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have someone of Peter Sterling’s calibre take up such an important role with New South Wales Rugby League,” said Daley.

“Bob Fulton did an outstanding job in the years he was involved. He was my coach when I was in the Australian team and he has been one of my key mentors.

“I am very grateful for his advice. He was always going to be very hard to replace.

“Having said that, I couldn’t be happier that Sterlo was not only available, but really excited about the opportunity.

“He will bring so much to our squad that is aligned with the culture and team values we aspire to. His knowledge of the game is without peer.”

Sterling said he is extremely keen to be part of Daley’s Origin campaign and the processes he has put in place over the past three years.

“I feel like I have been asked to step into a situation that is on the verge of something extremely special with the group Laurie has assembled and the decisions he has made during his tenure,” Sterling said.

“I am really excited to be involved in something that is a very special part of the game.”

The NSWRL Board also agreed to implement other key recommendations which include the formation of a leadership program, to identify and develop leaders in the current and future generations; and a specialist training program, involving True Blues working with specific positional groups.

More specific details on the programs and training camp venues will be announced in the coming weeks.