‘Feels like he’s letting us down’: Fittler reveals Blues skipper’s ‘emotional’ departure

Blues coach Brad Fittler has opened up on the emotional moment skipper Boyd Cordner farewelled the NSW team due to ongoing concussion issues.

Cordner decided to rule himself out for the remaining two games after he copped a knock in the Blues 18-14 Game I loss and Fittler revealed the decision took its toll on the fearless leader.

“It was a pretty amazing old moment,” Fittler told The Sydney Morning Herald.

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“You have to take the good and the bad, and those moments which catch you off guard. It was just emotional.

“Boyd is built not to let people down. He feels like he’s letting people down.”

However Fittler has no doubt that his captain will return to rugby league next season with the Roosters and play Origin again.

“From the advice I get from people who are educated, players can go through these stages [with repeated concussions] and, if given enough time, things can change where they become resilient again to knocks,” Fittler said.

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“If Boyd keeps getting knocks like that [on Wednesday night] where it doesn’t look like much, then there are huge concerns. He’s a smart bloke, he now knows and he understands.

“Him and the Roosters will take the required time out to hopefully get him to the stage where he can [be resilient again]. He leads with the head. He’s tough.”

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Boyd’s replacement as skipper and club teammate James Tedesco revealed Boyd struggled in telling his teammates of his decision to leave the squad.

“Boyd said he was a bit hesitant about telling the group because he would get emotional,” Tedesco said.

“He said he got a lot of it out by himself while he was in his room.

“You could tell he was hurting. He was clear he needed a rest. Everyone understood.

Blues coach Brad Fittler and Boyd Cordner in better times last season.Source:AAP

“We all know how tough he is. His health comes first. He needs some time away from footy to relax and get his head right.

“The way he was after the game, he wasn’t feeling himself. He’s had a lot of head knocks and issues this year.”

Tedesco admitted it would be different not having his club and state captain by his side, but knows it was the right decision for Cordner.

Boyd Cordner is sent for a HIA in Origin I.Source:Getty Images

The Roosters captain has had to deal with the emotional turmoil of losing his cousin at the same time as dealing with repeated head injuries in a turbulent 2020 that has restricted players inside a COVID-19 bubble.

“I think it’s been a long year, a tough year, he’s had some issues off the field as well,” Tedesco said. It’s been mentally and physically draining for him.

“We were all thinking the same thing and it was best for him to have time away. We all want him to play and be with us, but his health and wellbeing is No.1.

“I’ve learned a lot off him. He’s captained at club level, state level and for Australia. It’s weird not having him here.”

Originally published as‘Feels like he’s letting us down’: Fittler reveals Blues skipper’s ‘emotional’ departure

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