James Maloney has spoken for the first time since accepting a coaching job with North Queensland Cowboys and revealed he nearly landed at the Sydney Roosters.

After returning to Australia from France, where he spent the last few seasons of his playing career with the Catalans Dragons, Maloney confessed he spoke with Roosters coach Trent Robinson about returning to the club in a part-time role.

However, before he accepted the job, the 37-year-old playmaker and NRL premiership-winner ran into player agent Isaac Moses.

It was then that Moses told him Cowboys coach Todd Payten, one of his clients, was on the lookout for someone to replace Dean Young on his staff, per the Herald.

This came after he told the publication that he reached out to Craig Fitzgibbon (Cronulla Sharks), Cameron Ciraldo (Canterbury Bulldogs) and Ivan Cleary (Penrith Panthers) about potential coaching roles.

“I spoke to Robbo, who had a part-time role for me there,” Maloney told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“He told me if I couldn't find a full-time role elsewhere, he had the next best thing for me at the Roosters.

“It came out of the blue the move to the Cowboys. I arrived back in the country on a Tuesday and by Thursday we had just finished organising the kids back into school out in Penrith where we were moving back to.

“I went to a chicken shop and bumped into Isaac Moses, who looks after Todd Payten. As I was heading out he said to me, ‘What are you doing?', and I said, ‘I'm doing some stuff with the Roosters', and he said, ‘Toddy is looking for an attack coach up there'.

“I had a chat with Toddy on the phone, flew up the following week, and by the Friday I had a job.

“I phoned Robbo when I got the Cowboys job. He said he was always happy to have a chat if I had any questions about coaching.”