Queensland coach Billy Slater has kept quiet about his future in coaching beyond the State of Origin dead rubber match on Wednesday. Although he has led Queensland to the cusp of a series clean sweep, his contract is set to end this year and he has not made any declarations about his long-term intentions. When asked if he could see himself joining the NRL coaching ranks if given the chance, Slater admitted that it could be a possibility. However, he emphasised that he is currently happy with his role and will assess his options with the Queensland Rugby League CEO, Ben Ikin, and his family.
Slater acknowledged that coaching takes up a significant amount of time, even before the Origin series, and that he wants to ensure the best outcome for all parties involved. He expressed his focus on the present moment at hand, preparing for the Origin game, and stated that his decision regarding his coaching future will come after this year. Although he did not outright rule out a move into NRL coaching, Slater made it clear that his immediate priority is performing well in his current role.
Despite the potential interest in Slater’s coaching services due to his early success, he believes that an unheralded assistant coach should be at the forefront of NRL teams’ considerations. He praised Josh Hannay, who has made a significant impact on the Maroons‘ edge defense and previously had coaching stints at North Queensland and Cronulla.
While teams like St George-Illawarra and the Gold Coast have already secured new coaches for next year, leaving some uncertainty surrounding Newcastle mentor Adam O’Brien, Slater believes that Hannay would be a valuable addition to any team. He described Hannay as a young and enthusiastic coach who possesses great knowledge of the game. Slater stated that he highly recommends Hannay to any team in search of a quality coach.
Overall, Billy Slater‘s coaching future beyond the current State of Origin series remains uncertain, but he is open to the possibility of entering the NRL coaching ranks. He is focused on his current role and will discuss his options with the relevant parties before making any decisions. Additionally, he has endorsed Josh Hannay as a coach who would bring valuable expertise and enthusiasm to any team.