Fittler considers halftime Origin switch

Brad Fittler (L) is unsure on whether to coach NSW from the box or sideline in Origin II in Perth. (AAP)

Brad Fittler is yet to decide whether he coaches NSW from the sideline or the box for the historic State of Origin game in Perth against Queensland.

NSW mentor Brad Fittler admits he has considered a rare halftime switch between the Optus Stadium sideline and coach's box for Sunday's must-win State of Origin II.

The Blues had their first look at the new Perth venue on Saturday when they wrapped up preparations with a captain's run.

And Fittler was seen looking at the distance between the ground and the coach's box, which is longer than traditional stadiums because of its oval shape.

Fittler also considered coaching from the sideline last year at the MCG, before ultimately staying in the confines of the box.

One thing the embattled coach is certain of, however, is that he won't be influenced by predicted heavy rain for the contest.

Asked whether he would again be in the grandstands on Sunday, Fittler said: "I was looking at it. I don't know - I'll see.

"I wouldn't mind spending half the game on the sideline. I'll make sure weather doesn't have a bearing on that. I'll take a leaf out of Ricky Stuart's book."

Fittler is under pressure for the first time since taking over last year as Blues coach, having led NSW to an unassailable 2-0 lead before dropping game three.

This year, his team lost game one and he was heavily criticised for making seven changes to the side game two.

One player he recalled was veteran five-eighth James Maloney, who was overlooked for the series opener in favour of Cody Walker.

Maloney looms as the key to keeping the series alive, given his vast experience in big matches, including NRL premierships at two clubs.

He was also widely credited for steering the Blues to success last year.

But if the 33-year-old was feeling any nerves ahead of the contest, he wasn't feeling any of it before their final training session.

"I get nervous, weirdly. Like, I don't know when it's going to come," Maloney said.

"I can play in a big game and not be nervous at all. And then I could play a normal club game against an ordinary side you should win against and be nervous.

"It comes and goes randomly. But I feel sweet at the moment."

The Blues' halves selection have long been a source of consternation for NSW fans since the 2005 retirement of champion No.7 Andrew Johns.

Since his departure, Queensland have won 12 of 14 series.

Current halfback Nathan Cleary has also been under intense scrutiny after being picked despite Penrith's horror start to the year.

Maloney hoped to draw the best out of his Panthers' teammate on Sunday.

"He'll be excited about it. It's a good opportunity. It's a big game. Hopefully, having me there can settle him down a little bit and keep him pretty controlled," he said.

Source AAP

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