Phil Gould has ruled out taking an assistant role to NSW coach Brad Fittler but he is willing to provide advice in an unofficial capacity.
Speculation has been growingntense that coach Gould would take on a coaching role as NSW attempts to break a three-year State of Origin losing streak in Fittler's first series at the helm.
"No, I'm not officially involved. Brad and I just have the relationship (where) if he needs something, he'll call," Gould told Sky Sports Radio on Friday.
"I doubt he will, because he's his own man. But sometimes he just likes the comfort of knowing he can call.
"But he's surrounded himself with some really good people."
Former Penrith premiership winner Greg Alexander has replaced Peter Sterling as an advisor, while immortal Andrew Johns is rumoured to be set for a position on the coaching panel.
Penrith general manager Gould, the Blues' most successful coach, dismissed doubts over Fittler's coaching credentials after his unsuccessful stint at the Sydney Roosters.
He said Fittler's strength was as a mentor.
"Underestimate him at your peril. He's a very smart boy and done extremely well with junior rep teams over the years and the City side," Gould said.
"I think he'll keep it really simple and he's virtually put it back on the players, the he's not going to talk about selections. It's up for the players to put themselves in the frame.
"I don't think and have never thought he was cut out for club coaching.
"This short-term representative coaching and having an influence and mentoring players and being able to inspire players is something he's really good at."