Ricky Stuart blasts 'disgraceful' Michael Maguire call amid ugly State of Origin selection snub

The Canberra Raiders coach did not hold back on the Blues camp.

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has let rip at the Blues camp for their snub of second-rower Hudson Young after the young NRL star was dropped for the second time in two years after a loss. The Blues were dismantled at the hands of the Maroons in State of Origin Game 1 after they were reduced to 12 men for most of the contest.

Young was selected for the second series in a row, but after coming off the bench to play 23 minutes, coach Michael Maguire opted to drop the tenacious second-rower from the squad. Young was one of the few players that made way for a new look Blues team, but club coach Stuart has taken aim at the NSW camp for the same selection snub.

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart (pictured middle) has let rip at the Blues for dropping second-rower Hudson Young (pictured right) after limited minutes in Game 1. (Getty Images)
Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart (pictured middle) has let rip at the Blues for dropping second-rower Hudson Young (pictured right) after limited minutes in Game 1. (Getty Images)

Last year, coach Brad Fittler dropped Young after two straight losses. Maguire opted to do the same after Game 1 as he reshuffled his bench to afford a utility for Game 2. While Stuart and Maguire recently worked together at the Raiders, it hasn't stopped the outspoken coach taking a swipe at the Blues officials for how he perceives they have handled the selection process.

"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 pointed out Young played 23 minutes in 2024 in Game 1, before he was axed.

Interestingly, last year, Young started in the backrow. However, he only played 30 minutes in Game 1. While this improved to 62 minutes in Game 2, it wasn't enough as Young was dropped. Young had one of the worst game of his short career last week against the Cowboys in his team's loss, which might have sealed his chances of selection.

Regardless, Stuart was critical of the snub and said the Raiders would benefit from him not playing in State of Origin next week. “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.”

Hudson Young tackled.
Hudson Young (pictured) was dropped for Game 2 of Origin.

Stuart wasn't the only coach to reply to a star getting dropped. Matt Burton also found himself on the outer having been made 18th man in the first game. While many thought Burton would make his way onto the bench in Game 2, he was overlooked altogether.

And after being allowed to play for the Bulldogs against the Roosters this Saturday, coach Cameron Ciraldo admitted Burton's focus was on club footy. “I had forgotten about it until you guys started asking me about it because he came back on Monday and he’s normal Burto,” he said.


“He’s excited about playing footy and he’s refreshed after the bye. He’s ready to do the job for the team. It’s good for us. We’d love to see him in and around that arena, but we know that when he does reach his potential or gets close to that potential that he’ll be there, no doubt.

“We want players playing in that representative arena and being around it because they come back better players for us, so when the big games come, they’re used to that arena. Burto had a little taste of it, and we know if Burto keeps working as hard as he is then he’ll be back there at some stage soon.”