Banners promoting Coffs Harbour as tghe home of the NSW Blues pre-match camps have been erected in the city centre.
Banners promoting Coffs Harbour as tghe home of the NSW Blues pre-match camps have been erected in the city centre. Trevor Veale

Blues return for winning formula

BLUE banners have adorned the streets of Coffs Harbour in anticipation for the return of the New South Wales Blues.

In 13 days, the Blues start the first of three training camps in Coffs Harbour ahead of the 2015 State of Origin series kicking-off on May 27.

The Blues prepared for the 2014 series at the Novotel's Elite Training Facility, with the side later going on to claim its first State of Origin title since 2005.

Novotel executive assistant manager Jodie Evans said the team was looking to repeat history.

"After winning their first series they booked their return - Coffs Harbour has the right mixture for what they needed for winning," Ms Evans said.

"They've had a lot of interest from other areas to get them to train and camp with them. Coffs is very fortunate to have them for the next two years."

Coffs Harbour CBD Masterplan Committee chair Rod McKelvey said the banners displayed throughout the CBD were a way of showing support.

"When the Blues were here last year, the crowds were unprecedented and we're trying to build on that again for 2015," Mr McKelvey said.

Footy fans will have the opportunity to get selfies with the State of Origin shield and the New South Wales Blues players when the team is welcomed into the city centre on May 20 from 4.30pm.

The State of Origin Shield will then be on display in Coffs Central for the first week of the camp.

After a year full year of sporting events in the region, Mayor Denise Knight said the return of the Blues was another boon for Coffs Harbour.

"They got the keys to the city last year, so this year we're bringing the Blues home," Cr Knight said.

"It's great for the community but particularly for the children - they don't have to go to Sydney or Brisbane to watch a game; their favourite players are right here at home."

The first camp will be held from May 19-24.



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