Faith in Freddie: Blues extend Fittlers deal into 2021 – NRL.COM

NSW coach Brad Fittler will remain in charge of the State of Origin side for a further 12 months after agreeing to a one-year contract extension on Wednesday.

The NSWRL confirmed Fittler would stay on as Blues coach in 2021 after winning back-to-back series over Queensland for the first time over since 2004-05 last year.

He will aim to become the first coach since Phil Gould and Ricky Stuart to lead NSW to three consecutive series wins when State of Origin resumes in November.

“I am really grateful for the NSWRL board’s strong show of faith in me and our Origin and pathways program,” Fittler said on Wednesday.

“It also means my coaching future won’t be a distraction throughout our preparation and defence of the Origin shield.

Fittler humbled by NSW Blues extension

“I am really fortunate to have this job and it gives me great pride in seeing how much it unites the state.

“Given the year that the entire community has endured from droughts and bushfires to the COVID pandemic, I can think of no better way to end the year and lift community spirits. I can’t wait for Origin.”

NSWRL chief executive David Trodden said Fittler’s impeccable record since taking over the Blues made the board’s decision an easy one.

Match Highlights: Blues v Maroons

“Winning two from two series, the board obviously could not be happier with the way things are going with Origin and they were very pleased to extend Brad’s contract when they met today,” Trodden said.

“They have every confidence the run of success will continue this year.”

The 2020 State of Origin series will be the first of its kind due to the COVID-19 pandemic with three games scheduled across three weeks beginning on Wednesday, November 4, following the NRL grand final on October 25.

It will be the first time in 40 years the series will be played at the end of the NRL season.