Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Former NRL premiership-winning coach Paul Green was recently released from his position as Queensland State of Origin head coach, after the Maroons were embarrassed in the 2021 series, going down 2-1 and conceding a total of 94 points across the three games.
One candidate has stood out amongst the rest for his successor and it is now clear to see that Billy Slater is Queensland Rugby League’s preferred option to take on the role of the Maroons head coach, as QRL Chairman Bruce Hatcher has confirmed to the Courier Mail that they have offered Slater a deal.
“The ball is in Billy’s court,” Hatcher said
“He has to come back to us and accept the position.
“In Billy’s case, the QRL and his manager need to work out a deal.
“We’re looking at a three-year contract, it would be two years with a one-year option.
“Billy and his manager are the ones considering all issues, so we just have to wait.
“We are pretty definite about what we are prepared to offer, it just depends whether it’s acceptable or not and in any way, shape or form negotiable.
“That’s about the only thing standing in the road with Billy, we can’t drag this on indefinitely and make it a Dutch auction.
“I was hoping for an answer last week. I didn’t think it would be this complicated, but I understand managers do this for a living and that there is a marketplace out there.
“I have spoken to Billy about the job before we made the offer and he was highly excited.
“It’s a matter of the details now. Billy has indicated he wants to do it, so the QRL would love to have him on board taking us into the future.
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“But then he has a manager to deal with and Billy’s manager is pricing his product and telling the people seeking the product are you prepared to pay this amount?
“If things don’t line up, then Billy has to accept maybe there is no deal.
“But I’m still confident Billy will be coaching the Maroons next year surrounded by some pretty powerful experienced people.”
Whether he takes on this new role or not, Slater is synonymous with Queensland regardless, having represented his state as a player on 31 occasions between 2004 and 2018, winning eight series with the Maroons during that period.
As for who may get an offer from the QRL next if Slater declines, current Queensland State of Origin assistant coach Johnathan Thurston has been brought up as a potential candidate.