League: Palmer apologises for Daley slur

Laurie Daley. Photo / Getty Images
Laurie Daley. Photo / Getty Images

Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer apologised on Friday for calling NSW coach Laurie Daley a grub, but the damage may already be done.

The Blues rallied around the rookie State of Origin coach on Friday following the unexpected sledge from Palmer.

And fiery forward Anthony Watmough made clear Palmer's comments would not be forgotten quickly, and were being used as ammunition ahead of Wednesday's series opener in Sydney.

Palmer, speaking to Fox Sports on Thursday, had been describing the lengths he would go to to ensure star five-eighth Johnathan Thurston would be able to take the field for game one on Wednesday.

Thurston could be called on to fly home to Townsville for the birth of his first child.

Palmer, who owns a private jet and the Coolum resort where the Maroons have their training camp, said he would make sure Thurston was there on game day.

''(Thurston) is the best halfback in the world,'' Palmer said.

"We know that, those grubs Laurie Daley and those (NSW) guys, they know that too, and they're desperate to win.

"They'll do anything.''

Palmer apologised on Friday, admitting he got it wrong and saying the Maroons were lucky Daley, a champion of 23 Origins for the Blues, was no longer playing.

"In haste, and being such a staunch Maroons fan, I regrettably called Laurie a grub,'' Palmer said in a statement.

"It was in the spirit of making casual banter but I got it wrong and I am sorry.

"I can understand how offensive it would have been and I really meant no disrespect to Laurie and his team.

"I made a mistake and I wish to correct that mistake. Laurie was in his day one of the world's best inside backs.

"Queensland is lucky that he isn't on the paddock today.''

Watmough welcomed any further ammunition Queensland wanted to give NSW ahead of the series opener.

''(Palmer is) entitled to his opinion. Has he ever played footy?'' Watmough said before Blues training on Friday morning.

"I've got no opinion of what other people are thinking. We're worried about us down here.

"If they want to fire a bit of extra ammunition, fire away.

"We'll take it all on board.''

Speaking on Fox Sports on Thursday, Daley said he found the comments of Palmer, who has recently started his own political party, disturbing.

"That's very disappointing,'' Daley said.

"I don't know Clive Palmer at all.

"Obviously he's a very proud and passionate Queenslander, but for someone that wants to put himself out there in politics and wants to rule this country ... I find those comments very disturbing.''


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