After establishing himself as one New South Wales' Origin greats, Danny Buderus is contributing to the future of the Blues.
The Newcastle Knights Hall of Fame inductee and current NRL assistant coach has been appointed head coach of the NSW under 16s Players Pathways squad poised to play the curtain raiser match at Wednesday night’s State of Origin series opener at ANZ Stadium.
Among the representative side are Knights juniors, Matt Croker and Tex Hoy who played in this year’s Harold Matthews squad.
“It’s fantastic, and has been really good seeing those guys mix it up with the best the state has to offer at under 16s level,” Buderus said.
The aspiring Blues are in good hands with a raft of NSW Origin greats and NRL experience on hand to mentor the team.
“It’s my first opportunity to be in charge of a team, but we have good staff there,” he said.
“Brad Fittler is the HPU (High Performance Unit) manager and with NSW Rugby League, Jamie Feeney and Andrew Ryan are on board,” he said.
“It’s a good set up and is a highly educational process for everyone involved.
“I’m looking forward to being amongst it."
Buderus says he’s proud to see the Club’s young talent capturing attention on a state representative level.
“The boys get an opportunity to play on the big stage there,” he said about Wednesday's match.
Hoy, is a five-eighth who played in the Knights’ Harold Matthews side this year, while Nabiac based front-rower Croker is captain for Wednesday's match.
“Matt’s a really tough kid that has a bright future ahead of him,” Buderus added.
"Tex Hoy has come into the squad as 18th man and will also get some experience there."
As the NSW Origin first grade squad aims to back up last year’s series winning success, Buderus believes the future of rugby league in NSW looks bright.
"There’s always a lot of talent between the under 16s and 18s and they are the best in the state,” he said.
“It’s a privilege to be able to coach it.
“It’s all about pathways, but at the end of the day, we want to win as well."