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24 Mar 2018 19:09
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    NSW confident Origin stars will behave

    The NSW State of Origin side will stay at The Star casino and train out of Leichhardt Oval ahead of game two of this year's series.

    - article from

    It's been the site of several player indiscretions over the past few years, but the NSWRL has defended its decision to base the NSW State of Origin side at The Star casino ahead of game two.

    For the first time during coach Laurie Daley's reign, the Blues this year will set up camp in Sydney, with the team to train out of Leichhardt Oval and stay at The Star in Pyrmont.

    The NRL said it had no issue with the move and NSWRL chief executive Dave Trodden played down concerns about possible player behaviour.

    Blues management have run a tight ship during representative camps in recent years and haven't had an incident since Blake Ferguson's 2013 ejection from camp.

    Despite gambling and drinking being easily accessible on the site, Trodden said the players wouldn't have restrictions put on their movements and trusted them not to get into strife.

    "We're totally confident and we wouldn't be there if we weren't," Trodden told AAP.

    "It's really about accommodation facilities and there's none better than the ones there. But I think that issue is overblown a bit. If you're staying in Sydney, there are bars around."

    The NRL has copped a black eye over the past fortnight with a string of players including Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor, as well as Cronulla chairman Damian Keogh, being embroiled in cocaine scandals.

    Trodden said there wasn't a need to put players on a tight leash or for strict behavioural guidelines, arguing they were professional enough to do the right thing.

    "We trust them and we're totally confident that they're in the best facilities there and they'll respect the facilities in behavioural terms and other terms," Trodden said.

    Last year, Corey Norman, James Segeyaro and Junior Paulo were warned by police about consorting with known criminals after they were pictured having dinner with bikies and accused criminals at The Star.

    Wests Tigers forward Kyle Lovett in February pleaded guilty to a drug possession charge after being caught with a bag of cocaine in his underwear while driving through a well-known drugs hot spot near the casino.

    Willis Meehan was sacked from the Sydney Roosters in 2015 after he headbutted a man and stole his watch in an early-morning altercation near The Star.

    Meehan had a robbery charge thrown out and had no conviction recorded for an assault charge.

    Daley has changed things up this year and the team will bunker down in Kingscliff, just south of the Queensland border, for games one and three in Brisbane.

    The team will stay in Sydney for all of their preparations for game two at ANZ Stadium.

    For several years, the Blues had based themselves in Coffs Harbour for all three games to avoid the limelight but Daley said he was confident of preventing any distractions.

    "Our guys are pretty professional these days," Daley said.

    "They know what's required of them and Origin has changed since my time.

    "I think it will be good for our guys to be in Sydney and really feel the support they have."

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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