The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Successful Canterbury coach Brent Stuart was today named head coach of the Bartercard Premiership Selection to face the Samoan Residents at Mount Smart Stadium on October 10.
Stuart, who played 14 Tests for the Kiwis from 1992-95, earned the appointment after the Canterbury Bulls clinched top ranking for the Bartercard Premiership play-offs starting this weekend.
The southerners, who also hold the Rugby League Cup, put together a perfect record in the round-robin phase of the provincial competition with wins over Auckland (32-30), Wellington (32-0), Taranaki (48-10), Bay of Plenty (66-16) and Waikato (32-4). They are favoured to beat fourth-ranked Wellington in the Bartercard Premiership semi-finals on Sunday to make the October 4 grand final.
Stuart, previously the Bulls