Slater, who led Maroons to Origin glory in his coaching debut last year, has put his contract talks on hold until the end of the 2023 series, triggering fears that he could be lost to the NRL club that made him a fullback legend, the Storm.
However, Maroons stars, including Lindsay Collins and Harry Grant, have appealed to Slater to stay for another term. Slater has been hailed by the new Queensland Rugby League chief executive, Ben Ikin, as the right man to mentor the Maroons for the long haul.
Ikin believes that Slater knows what he stands for and how he wants his team to play, the two main attributes of great coaches. The expectation is that he will be a better coach this year than he was last year. Although Slater is in no hurry to sort out his future, QRL is keen to keep stability in their Origin program and offer an upgraded two or three-year deal to secure the 39-year-old. The players are fortunate to be learning from blokes like Slater and to have a coaching staff such as Cam Smith, Johnathan Thurston, Nate Myles, and Josh Hannay, who have done so much for the Queensland jersey.
Slater, the 319-game NRL great, has made a slick transition to Origin coaching. He is very thorough with his preparation, a good communicator, and can manage a group of boys well. His demeanour, discipline, and attitude are crucial for the team especially on the big Origin games. Although Slater is yet to decide on his future, it seems QRL is staying put and is waiting for the right time to offer him a contract extension.