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From star player to coach: Billy Slater to lead Queensland

·1-min read

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Queensland rugby league officials are hoping Billy Slater’s outstanding success on the field translates to his new career as coach of its State of Origin team.

The champion fullback, a key member of the Maroons’ most successful Origin dynasty, was named coach on a two-year contract on Friday.

He replaces Paul Green after Green's exit earlier this month following just one series — a losing one to New South Wales.

The job is Slater’s first in coaching since his retirement as a player in 2018.

“I was drawn to the role because I care and because it’s important to me,” Slater said. “At the end of the day, I’m a Queenslander. This team means a lot to me. It always has.”

Slater made 31 match appearances for Queensland and was a vital part of then-coach Mal Meninga’s dominant team which won nine of 10 series over New South Wales between 2006 and 2015.

Slater, 38, also made 39 test appearances for Australia and was the Dally M most valuable player of the year in 2011, the Rugby League Golden Boot winner in 2008 and the Clive Churchill medal winner as most outstanding player in a grand final in 2009 and 2017.

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