Illawarra Newsroom

McGregor named NSW Origin assistant coach

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Former St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor is returning to top flight coaching after parting ways with the Red V last August.

McGregor will join Brad Fittler's coaching staff after being appointed as a Blues assistant for next years Origin series.

The 53-year-old replaces Craig Fitzgibbon, who stood down after three years as an assistant coach to take on the the head coaching role at Cronulla.

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.

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"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," McGregor said.

"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.

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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," Fittler said.

Images: NSWRL and Dragons TV