Is Billy Slater the next coach of the Queensland Maroons? Former NSW Origin player Bryan Fletcher thinks so.
The Queensland Rugby League Board is currently deliberating over its next coach after Wayne Bennett relinquished duties to focus on the Rabbitohs’ 2021 premiership campaign.
The 71-year old is embarking on the final season of a three-year deal he signed with South Sydney before he will hand over head coaching duties to assistant Jason Demetriou in 2022.
The Maroons are coming off a shock 2-1 upset win over the NSW Blues in last year's Origin series.
The QRL are now left with a big decision to make, with Slater and Paul Green tipped as the two frontrunners to get the job.
Speaking on SEN radio, Fletcher backed Slater to land the gig given his popularity.
“I would think if Billy Slater wanted the job, Billy Slater gets the job. Just because of the popularity of Billy,” Fletcher said on SEN’s Pat and Heals.
“He’s been under Craig Bellamy so if he thinks he’s ready to coach up there, I would presume he’d get the job. But ‘Greeny’ (Paul Green) has got the experience of winning the competition (Cowboys in 2015).
“I don’t know whether they could work together. Reading between the lines it’s either one or the other.”
Slater is one of Queensland's most loved rugby league players, appearing in 31 Origin matches.
The 37-year old retired from the NRL at the end of 2018 after 319 first-grade matches for the Melbourne Storm.