Ricky Stuart says Hudson Young (pic) handled his Origin treatment much better than he would have. Image by Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS
  • rugby league

Stuart blasts NSW over star’s ‘disgraceful’ treatment

Jacob Shteyman June 22, 2024

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has belted NSW over their treatment of Hudson Young, labelling Michael Maguire’s decision to drop the back rower as disgraceful.

Young was dropped from Maguire’s squad for State of Origin II after playing only 22 minutes off the bench in NSW’s Game I pummelling from the Maroons.

Stuart and Maguire are former teammates at the Raiders, with Maguire still on the club’s books as a video consultant after serving as an assistant last year.

But that did not stop Stuart from leaping to the defence of Young on Saturday, claiming it was not the first time he had been treated harshly by NSW. 

“I personally think the way he’s been treated in Origin over the last two series has been disgraceful,” Stuart said. 

“They’re looking for a loyalty and passion for the jumper, but you got to give a little bit too. 

“The amount of game time he’s played in both series and then finds himself out – it’s either a wrong selection or they haven’t done the right thing by the kid.”

Stuart said the ever calm and composed Young had taken the snubbing well, after being dropped by former Blues coach Brad Fittler after Game II last year as well.

“He’s handled it a lot better than I would, I can assure you that,” Stuart said.

“I was disappointed for Hudson. He won’t say that but you got to show a little bit of loyalty and passion if you want to get it (in return).”

Young underwhelmed in the Raiders’ 34-16 loss to North Queensland last weekend.

But Stuart is expecting him to be back to his competitive best against the resurgent Wests Tigers on Sunday at Campbelltown.

“That (passion) is never to be questioned,” Stuart said.

“You see his commitment and the standards, his drive each week. 

“His competitiveness sometimes gets him a bad name for how hard he fights for every little scrap that he’s in. 

“But I love having him here and we’re the fortunate ones to have him this weekend.”

The Raiders have a chance to stay in the top eight with a victory over the Tigers, after being poor against North Queensland last week.

“I thought our discipline let us down over the weekend and we’re going to have to fix that up against the Tigers,” captain Elliott Whitehead said.

“But I thought for the majority of the game our defence was pretty good and we’ll have to do that again against the Tigers. 

“They throw the ball around a lot and have that Benji (Marshall) kind of play. We’ll have to be at our best.”