Billy Slater will have to choose between two of his great rugby league loves, with the Melbourne Storm and Queensland Maroons vying for the former fullback's signature.

While many were quick to say Slater wasn't ready for the coaching ranks last season, he silenced his doubters in quick fashion with a 2-1 Origin victory over New South Wales, handing Queensland their second unlikely series win in the space of three years.

Slater managed to get the best out of Kalyn Ponga, who earned Man of the Match honours in a Suncorp decider, which has Maroons officials clambering to sign the 39-year-old up long-term.

Well, not if Melbourne can do anything about it.

Craig Bellamy is in what's believed to be his final year at the helm of the Storm, his 21st season with the clipboard. Funnily enough, Bellamy's first game as an NRL coach was Billy's first-grade debut.

Now, over two decades later, he may be set to hand him his NRL coaching debut as well.

Current assistant Marc Brentnall and former Storm player Jason Ryles are the two leading contenders, however the club's chairman confirmed Slater was in the mix.

“We'd be mad not to look at someone like Billy Slater,” Tripp told The Daily Telegraph.

“Billy is a legend of this club, he is an inspiration and he is one of six or seven candidates we are looking at to replace Craig.

“To be honest, my first priority is to keep Craig as head coach and talking to him about why I would love for him to go on for another season.

“I haven't started planning yet, but if we have to start planning to replace Craig, Billy is in the mix.

“Billy would be a great coach of the Storm. He is smart and highly-regarded, but I have to be respectful to Craig and the other candidates.”

Still unsigned with the Maroons for 2024, QRL chairman Bruce Hatcher is eager to thwart the Storm, and lock up their long-term mentor.

“The dogs are barking on this one (that Slater could succeed Bellamy),” Hatcher told The Daily Telegraph.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: Billy Slater of Queensland waves to the crowd as he is chaired from the field by Cameron Munster and Will Chambers of Queensland after his final game for Queensland during game three of the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

“We would like to extend him but Billy has told us he wants to get to the end of this Origin series and review things then.

“Hopefully he is the Origin coach this year and next, but Craig Bellamy has indicated this could be his last season, so we may have a battle on our hands to keep Billy.

“I have no doubt Billy would be a success at Melbourne but we are rapt in his approach and we would love to keep him as Queensland coach for a longer term.”

If you were a betting man, you'd be be backing Slater to remain in his Origin role after recent comments on his own podcast.

“The Melbourne Storm mean a lot to me,” he said.

“I've spent half my life at that club, and I'm still there now as a part-time coach, still contributing to the club.

"At the moment it's a no (I won't take over from Bellamy). I don't see myself as an NRL coach."

Melbourne are closing in on their deadline to make a decision and begin the interview process, with just over seven months until pre-season begins ahead of the 2024 season, and a whole recruitment/retention campaign to go through.