|Daley at rugby league centenary celebrations in 2008|
|Full name||Laurie William Daley|
20 October 1969 |
Junee, New South Wales
|Height||183 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||92 kg (14 st 7 lb)|
|1989–99||New South Wales||23||6||1||0||26|
|1997||New South Wales (SL)||3||0||0||0||0|
|2010–13||Indigenous All Stars||4||2||0||2||50|
|2013||New South Wales||3||1||0||2||33|
|Source: RLP Yesterday's Hero|
Laurie Daley AM (born 20 October 1969 in Junee, New South Wales) is a professional Australian rugby league football coach currently in charge of the New South Wales State of Origin team. Daley is also a former player, having represented Australia on 26 occasions and has since been named as one of the nation's finest of the 20th century. Daley played primarily as a Centre and then Five-eighth for the Canberra Raiders during their most successful period in the 1990s.
Spotted playing first grade for the Junee Diesels in 1986 at the age of sixteen, and after being signed by the Raiders, he developed as a centre and was playing first grade by 1987, including being a non-playing reserve for the Raiders in their 18-8 Grand Final loss to Manly-Warringah at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The Raiders of 1987 were co-coached by then Australian coach Don Furner, and then Queensland Origin coach Wayne Bennett.
Daley was playing representative rugby league before his 19th birthday in 1988 when he was selected to represent NSW Country in the annual City vs Country Origin game. He was the second highest try-scorer in the 1989 NSWRL season with sixteen tries, only one less than team mate Gary Belcher. He tasted premiership success with the Raiders 1989 in a dramatic extra-time game which saw Canberra defeat the Balmain Tigers 19-14, and in the ensuing celebrations dropped the Winfield Cup from a moving car. In the post season he travelled with the Raiders to England for the 1989 World Club Challenge, playing at centre in Canberra's 18-30 loss to Widnes at the famous Old Trafford stadium in Manchester.
Daley disappointed in his first State of Origin games for New South Wales in 1989, but in mid-1990 he made his Australian début at five-eight against France in the NSW country town of Parkes, scoring a try on début. He would then play against New Zealand a month later in Wellington. At the end of the 1990 NSWRL season where the Raiders won their second consecutive Grand Ginal, Daley won the Raiders' player of the year award and was then selected for the 1990 Kangaroo Tour. He missed Australia's opening loss to Great Britain at Wembley Stadium due to a broken hand suffered in a previous tour match against Leeds, but played centre for the last four tests on tour (two against Great Britain and two against France).
During 1990, Daley was shifted from centre to five-eighth at the Raiders and was quickly rated as the worlds best in the position, despite others such as Wally Lewis and Great Britain's Garry Schofield also playing the position. During the 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand, he helped Australia retain The Ashes. Affected severely by a knee injury in 1992, which saw him miss Australia's World Cup Final win over Great Britain at Wembley following the 1992 NSWRL season,
Daley recovered from injury to captain Australia in the absence of suspended captain Mal Meninga in the first Test against New Zealand in 1993, kicking the match-saving field goal and saving Australia from an embarrassing 14-13 loss (it was also his second field goal of the game). 1994 was again plagued by injury. For the third year running he captained NSW to an Origin series win over Queensland, before representing Australia in a mid season test against France at the Parramatta Stadium in Sydney. Following the test Daley underwent knee surgery, and recovered in time to help the Raiders easily win the Grand Final over Canterbury-Bankstown 36-12, scoring a 50 metre try in the first half and showing that he was back to 100% fitness. Following the Grand Final win, Daley was selected, along with six of his Canberra team-mates (Kangaroo captain Meninga, Ricky Stuart, Steve Walters, Brett Mullins and David Furner), to the successful 1994 Kangaroo Tour.
Controversy raged in 1995 when Ricky Stuart was preferred for the Canberra captaincy after Meninga's retirement, even though Daley had captained both New South Wales and Australia ahead of Stuart. Furthermore, the outbreak of the Super League War and Daley's subsequent support for the rival organisation saw him barred from representative games in 1995, including the World Cup at the end of the season. This was despite Daley and other Super League aligned players successfully taking the Australian Rugby League to court in a bid to be eligible for selection. While the ARL was forced to consider SL players, they weren't forced to select them, thus players like Daley missed a full year of representative games. Nonetheless, Daley was awarded Rugby League Week's Player of the Year award in 1995 and the Raiders' player of the year award in 1995, 1996 and 1997.
In 1996, Super League players were once again allowed to compete in representative fixtures sanctioned by the ARL, allowing Daley to compete in State of Origin. Even though Daley was the incumbent New South Wales captain from 1992-1994, Brad Fittler, who had also been appointed Australian captain in 1995, was retained as NSW captain. The following year, the Super League competition was launched, and Daley was appointed to captain the Super League representative teams of both New South Wales and Australia, winning their respective competitions. In the opening match of the Super League Test series against Great Britain at the end of the 1997 season, The Australian side wore black armbands in memory of Daley's grandmother who'd died two days before. He captained the side and scored a hat-trick that match in The Kangaroos' emphatic victory. Daley also scored a try in Australi's victory in the third and deciding match.
In 1998, Super League and the Australian Rugby League agreed to combine to launch the National Rugby League competition. Daley took over the Canberra captaincy on a full-time basis after Stuart signed with Canterbury in 1999 and was once again named the Raiders' player of the year. Although Daley continued to make representative appearances, injuries began to limit his appearances; and he was forced into retirement in 2000. In September of that year, his book, Laurie: Always a Winner was published.
As of August 2012, Daley is the current coach of the New South Wales Blues, and from 2008-2012 was the coach of the NSW Country Origin team.
In September 2007, Daley left his commentary position with Fox Sports and signed a contract with the Nine Network to co-present much of their rugby league coverage, from appearing on the weekly rugby league topic show The Footy Show, to commentating on Nine's weekend league coverage.
In 2009 Daley left the Nine Network and returned to Fox Sports.
In 2010, after New South Wales suffered their fifth consecutive series defeat and their first Origin whitewash (a series lost 0–3) since 2000, he was sacked as the state's team selector.
However, on 21 August 2012 Daley was appointed the NSW State of Origin coach from 2013, taking over from former Canberra team mate Ricky Stuart who, under NSW policy of their Origin coach not being a current NRL club coach, was ruled out after agreeing to coach the Parramatta Eels in 2013. Daley got the job in preference to other candidates including Trent Barrett, Brad Fittler and Daniel Anderson. Daley failed to lead the Blues to their first series win since 2005, losing their eighth consecutive series to Queensland despite winning the first match.
In August 2008, Daley was named at five-eight in the Indigenous Team of the Century.
On 11 January 2013, the local football ground in his home town of Junee was renamed Laurie Daley Oval.
- Clarkson, Alan (12 September 1992). "Vital week for Daley's knee". The Sun-Herald (Fairfax Digital). p. 72. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
- Mascord, Steve (14 May 1997). "Try, try and try again, but Kiwis denied by ref". The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia: Fairfax). p. 50. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- Hadfield, Dave (2 November 1997). "Rugby League: Daley in a different league". The Independent. independent.co.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
- Daley replaces Stuart as NSW Coach
- Ho hum, another year, another Maroons win, The Roar
- "Centenary of Rugby League – The Players". NRL & ARL. 23 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
- "Modern stars join greats in Indigenous Team of Century". ABC News. 9 August 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2008.
- Whaley, Pamela (12 January 2013). "Emotion high at ceremony for Daley". The Daily Advertiser. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- Taylor, Gail (1998). Livewire Real Lives: Laurie Daley. Sydney, N.S.W.: Hodder Education. ISBN 978-0-7336-0708-0.
- Daley, Laurie; David Middleton (2000). Laurie: always a winner. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-7322-6906-7.
|Canberra Raiders captain