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Slater joins list of rookie Origin coaches

By AAP
Queensland Coach Billy Slater and Daly Cherry-Evans during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session at Sanctuary Cove on June 04, 2022 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Queensland mentor Billy Slater will become the fourth man to lead a State of Origin side without prior first-grade head-coaching experience in Australia.

STATE OF ORIGIN’S ROOKIE COACHES:

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 10: Paul Vautin, coach of the Maroons addresses his players during a QLD Maroons training session June 10, 1995 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Getty Images)

PAUL VAUTIN (Queensland)

Arguably the most famous tale of any State of Origin coaching career came without any experience at club level. Vautin was thrown into the deep end when the Super League war robbed the Maroons of several Brisbane and Canberra stars as well as coach Wayne Bennett. Vautin helped inspire Queensland to a shock 3-0 whitewash, forever etching his name in Origin history. However Queensland were beaten 3-0 the following year and 2-1 in 1997, ending his tenure as coach.

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Blues head coach Laurey Daley poses during a New South Wales Blues NRL State of Origin team photo session at The Novatel on May 24, 2016 in Coffs Harbour, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

LAURIE DALEY (NSW)

Had the unenviable task of tackling a Queensland side at the height of their dominance when he took over from Ricky Stuart in 2013. With his only coaching experience with Country Origin previously, Daley had NSW within two points of ending Queensland’s run in the 2013 decider. He famously helped break the Blues’ drought with the 2014 series victory, but normal service was resumed in 2015 with a Maroons win. NSW lost again in 2016 and when they let a 1-0 advantage and 16-6 lead slip in Game II in 2017, Daley was axed after the series with a 6-9 record.

Coach Kevin Walters watches on during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session at Langlands Park on July 05, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

KEVIN WALTERS (Queensland)

Took over from Mal Meninga in 2016 after years of serving as an assistant at both State of Origin and NRL level as well as with a brief stint in charge of Catalans in the English Super League. Had immediate success when Queensland grinded their way to a win in Game I in Sydney, before wrapping up the shield three weeks later in Brisbane. Made it two series wins from two attempts the following year, before being forced to deal with the end of an era as the likes of Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater all exited. Series losses followed in 2018 and 2019, before Walters left to take up the top job at Brisbane just weeks before the end-of-season 2020 series.

Maroons coach Billy Slater during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session at Sanctuary Cove on June 06, 2022 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

BILLY SLATER (Queensland)

Will take on the job with extremely limited coaching experience, having only previously assisted as a specialist coach with Melbourne at club level. Instead, the Maroons’ staff is built on winning experience rather than coaching history. Slater has brought the likes of Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston into the fold, while retaining Josh Hannay, Nate Myles and Allan Langer in the camp. Players have responded too, praising Slater’s all-round knowledge rather than just in the fullback position.

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