Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
As recently as last month, Queensland Maroons head coach Paul Green was not only assured that his job was safe but there was even speculation that he would be receiving a pay rise.
However, Green has just confirmed via the Queensland Rugby League website that he and the QRL are parting ways and that he will no longer be the Maroons State of Origin head coach.
“After much consultation and discussion post the Origin series, both the QRL and I have decided to move in different directions,” Green said.
“The basis for this is simple, the QRL wants to ensure that they have certainty around the Origin coach not wanting to pursue an NRL head coach job, and whilst I could give them that certainty for the 2021 series, I cannot guarantee that this would be the case in the future.
“We all understand the dynamics and volatility around NRL club head coach roles and ultimately, that is where I see myself when the right opportunity opens up.
“I agree with the QRL’s desire for stability in the Origin coach job and to that end, I felt compelled to be transparent with my broader plans and thus this decision. I have loved every minute of this job as it is every Queenslander’s dream to coach this team.
— Brad Walter (@BradWalterSport) September 7, 2021
“Whilst we didn’t win the 2021 series, I feel that the future is very bright for the Queensland team and wish them and the new coach the very best for 2022 and beyond.”
Queensland Rugby League chairman Bruce Hatcher has also released a statement on behalf of the QRL.
“We understand and respect Paul’s ambitions to return to NRL coaching at some point, and we wish him every bit of success in the future,” Hatcher said.
“In my opinion, Paul went through the most exceptional circumstances in the history of Origin, with issues around injuries, COVID-19 and player eligibility, and the way the team was able to finish off the series with one of the great Origin victories is testament to his leadership.”
The attention of many will now stick with Hatcher and his team as they now begin the process of appointing a new Queensland State of Origin head coach.
Billy Slater will likely be the favourite for the role, as it was recently revealed that he was in discussions with the QRL about taking on the job when now Brisbane Broncos head coach Kevin Walters left during 2020.
Other candidates could include current Queensland Origin assistant coach Johnathan Thurston or even future Immortal Cameron Smith.