Queensland legend Billy Slater has confirmed he was sounded out over the Maroons’ head coaching role, but says the fact that he ‘never really considered it’ had nothing to do with any frustrations with Queensland Rugby League.
Rumours of a rift between Slater and the QRL surfaced over the weekend after fellow Queensland great, Paul Vautin, suggested the former Maroons fullback told QRL chairman Bruce Hatcher to “stick it up his a—” when offered the head coaching role.
The comments made by Vautin come at a tough time, with Queensland staring down the barrel of their first Origin series sweep since 2000.
While the coaching role was subsequently handed to former Cowboys coach Paul Green, Slater confirmed his name had come up in discussions.
“I’m a Queenslander, I’ve always been willing to help Queensland out,” Slater told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports’ Radio.
“I was in discussions with people from the QRL over the summer when Wayne Bennett said he wasn’t going to coach the team after last year.
“They did put it to me. There were people who asked me if I would be interested in coaching and to be honest, I was taken aback.
“I never really sat down and considered it. My advice to QRL was they needed to go away and work out who exactly they thought was best for the job.
“All us Queenslanders want is the best person to lead Queenslanders going forward. I didn’t want to be a part of the circus.
“When it started to become that, I called Bruce Hatcher and told him that I didn’t want to be a part of that.”
Why Vaughan wouldn’t belong at struggling club
Slater said he hopes the Maroons stick with Green despite the coach’s two losses this series, while confirming the rumours of a rift was “disappointing” to hear.
“I think Paul Green is a great candidate. He’s had some tough things to deal with over the first two games,” he said.
“He’s our coach. We don’t want to be throwing him out after two games.
“We need to stick by him. The most disappointing thing for me about all of this was how it was interpreted that were was a friction between myself and QRL.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!