It’s OFFICIAL! The Maroons have confirmed that league legend and Queensland die-hard Billy Slater is the new COACH!
Slater’s signed on to the role for two years, after representing the team in 31 matches as a player, and further work as a commentator, selector and mentor to the club.
He was also the Dally M Player of the Year in 2011, the recipient of the Rugby League Golden Boot Award in 2008, a three-time recipient of the Dally M Fullback of the Year (2008, 2011 and 2017) and a two-time recipient of both the Wally Lewis Medal (2010 and 2018) and Clive Churchill Medal (2009 and 2017).
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“I’m very honoured to be able to have been involved with the Queensland State of Origin team… firstly as a supporter when I was a young boy, inspired by the team, then I got the opportunity to play for Queensland and be one of those players, and now I get the chance to help guide and help bring through the next generation,” Slater said.
“It’s a great honour to be the Queensland coach. I was drawn to the role because I care and because it’s important to me.
“At the end of the day, I’m a Queenslander.
“This team means a lot to me. It always has. It has been a big part of my life for the majority of my life and now I get the opportunity to help other people, not only fulfil their dream, but inspire a whole state.”
Slater’s support team, including assistant coaches, is yet to be finalised, but he’s determined to make it great.
“It would be irresponsible not to lean on some great people around the Queensland State of Origin team that have been there in the past, that have been successful,” he said.
“I thought it was important that I had to commit first, then we’ll put the pieces of the puzzle together.
“Over the next little period, we’ll build a support staff around the players that will best assist the players to play at their optimal.”