Fittler's ways work their magic on NSW

Scott Bailey

Brad Fittler hasn't lost the family touch.

For all his zany ways, Fittler proved there was a real touch of heart and recognition about his new-age coaching ways when he welcomed the families of the NSW team for lunch on Friday afternoon.

With the players set to break camp on Friday evening, Fittler brought the players back to their families after training at an eastern suburbs surf club near the team's base of Coogee.

"Freddie has got his own vibe around the camp so it's been very different," front-rower David Klemmer said.

"I've got three boys. I haven't seen them all week. He's not big on the phones as well. It's been hard not talking to them and seeing them.

"My little fella is playing football tomorrow too so it will be good to get there and see him."

Fittler's ways are well known.

Much has been made of the phone ban in force during team events this week, but Fittler has developed a host of ideas in City Origin camp over the past six years.

From salsa dancing after a team bonding night on the harbour to bare feet on the grass and breathing techniques, Fittler isn't short of bringing something new to Blues camp in his first year as coach.

"It's pretty much the same as the City camps," Campbell-Gillard, who played under Fittler for City in 2015 and 2016, said.

"He's got his different types of things he likes to do.

"He's got minerals under the feet. I like (the breathing techniques) too. We do it out at Penrith. It relaxes your nerves a bit.

"Everyone has their different types of ways they like to prepare. Freddie likes to do them and everyone is buying into them and it's been a good camp."

It already proving to be working.

Despite bringing a record 11 young rookies usually more interested in the social-media age into one squad, the group has bonded quickly.

While a number of rookies hail from the same clubs, Josh Addo-Carr and James Roberts are among the few having to settle in from non-Sydney clubs and with limited previous connections with other players.

"We're just being ourselves," Addo-Carr said.

"It's about mateship mate and doing whatever it takes for your team.

"He's been really good for us, it's been great for everyone so far."