The NSWRL Board has today appointed True Blue and former St George Illawarra Dragons NRL coach Paul McGregor to join Brad Fittler’s Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coaching staff in 2022.
McGregor replaces Craig Fitzgibbon, who stood down after three years as an assistant coach alongside fellow True Blues Danny Buderus and advisor Greg Alexander to take on the the head coaching role at the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks for three years from the 2022 NRL season.
McGregor, who played 14 games for NSW from 1992-98 alongside Fittler, had already been brought into the Blues coaching ranks earlier this year as NSW Under 19s coach before the match was cancelled due to COVID-19.
McGregor said: “It’s a huge honour, after representing the Blues right through the 90s as a player and now to be on the coaching staff … I have a lot of gratitude and appreciation around that.
“I have a lot of passion for the game and perseverance as well. I believe I have gained 'Freddy’s' trust and earned his loyalty over time. In his first year coaching the Blues (2018) he took a lot of my (Dragons) players into the series and they won.
“It’s important to me to influence his vision on the team and I will do that with purpose.”
Fittler said he had always admired McGregor as a player and was impressed with what he had done as a coach.
“Obviously it is disappointing to lose Craig Fitzgibbon, who made such a valuable contribution to our group over the past three years, but to replace him with someone of the calibre and experience of Paul McGregor is outstanding,” Fittler said.
“I have been fortunate to have played with 'Mary' and roomed with him during the early 90s playing State of Origin and he will fit perfectly within the culture of our group, as well as adding immense value in what he can bring as an astute coach.
“He is really passionate about the game and NSW.”