Cordner call to leave emotional: Fittler

Scott Bailey
·2-min read

Brad Fittler admits the decision for Boyd Cordner to leave NSW State of Origin camp was an emotional one, backing the second-rower to put his health first.

Cordner on Friday made the tough call to walk away from the Blues' campaign, as the spotlight on his health intensified after his latest head knock.

He has suffered four significant blows to the head this year, and missed several games as a result for the Sydney Roosters.

The NSW captain insisted the call was precautionary and he felt fine after the series-opening loss, in which he looked dazed after making contact with Felise Kaufusi.

Cornder did pass a HIA to return to the field, however, that test is now the subject of an NRL review.

"It was a pretty emotional couple of hours," Fittler said of Friday.

"And I am sure the whole post game for him, he would have been quite aware.

"It's tough but that's the game and that's where he is at the moment.

"He knows he needs to go have a rest.

"We just communicated through the day (Friday). He spoke to the people he needed to."

Cordner's future has been a point of discussion all year, given his history of head knocks.

Fittler would not be drawn into the discussion on Saturday.

"I'm not a doctor. I am a good friend and a coach but there are other people who make those decisions," Fittler said.

"Boyd is part of that decision making. We trust him."

When Cordner did return he was one of the Blues' best, topping 130 metres and giving them their best runs of the second half.

He will now have the remainder of the year away from training before returning to the Roosters in January.

Roosters teammate and stand-in NSW captain James Tedesco said Cordner had seemed fine when he left camp on Friday.

"He said he feels alright, he feels good. He just needs a break. He's had a pretty tough year and a few setbacks," Tedesco said.

"He's such a leader for us and such a good all-round player.

"It's been a hard year for him with a lot of hard knocks.

"I just hope he has a good rest now and gets right for next year because he's had a few issues and his health is No.1 priority at the moment."