The transition of Billy Slater from the great Maroons coach to the Queensland coach will have to be confirmed after the former star defender agreed to take on the role of Home State next season.
Slater, who played 30 Origins and was a key member of interstate series dominance in Queensland for eight years, is expected to be the next Maroons coach on Friday after being contacted to replace Paul Green two weeks ago.
Green retired because he wanted to consider any NRL work coming up next season or in 2023, but Slater has made it clear that he is only interested in coaching the Maroons.
Former 38-year-old home teammates Johnathan Thurston, who was Green’s assistant in this year’s 2-1 series loss, and Cameron Smith can also participate in next season’s campaign, but only the Slater’s position has been defined at this stage.
It is understood his appointment will be for two years and the QRLs are looking to find an experienced mentor to help him in his first coaching role, with Wayne Bennett believed to be the goal of the role.
The QRL has not yet made an official announcement about the position.
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Although he has no experience as a head coach, Slater has been involved in training in the storm in Melbourne and with Maroons players in the latter fields.
He is recognized for his work ethic and has been endorsed by people like Smith, Thurston, Bennett and Storm coach Craig Bellamy.
“I’m training to some degree now,” Slater told Sydney 2GB radio station earlier this week.
“I’m still involved in the Melbourne storm and I’ve been since I retired. I’ve trained people.
“When you’re a player at the end of your career, you’re always the coach of your team and everyone else.
“These days your players train a lot and have a lot to say about how you play and what you want to do.”