The world of rugby league never stands still, and there’ll be several clubs looking for a new coach for 2020 before the 2019 season’s out.
Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
Billy Slater says he hasn’t thought about being Queensland captain because he’s never needed to, playing all but one State of Origin match alongside long-time leader Cameron Smith.
With Kangaroos and Maroons skipper Smith shocking the rugby league world by announcing his immediate retirement from representative football, Slater has been touted as a possible Origin replacement.
Souths skipper Greg Inglis appears the front-runner however as a selection certainty for game one on June 6 at the MCG.
Slater however looks more likely an option than Brisbane’s Darius Boyd or North Queensland’s Matt Scott.
The 34-year-old didn’t rule out taking on the job if it was offered, but said he would leave it in the hands of Queensland coach Kevin Walters.
“I haven’t really thought about it,” Slater said when asked about the Queensland role.
“I think I’ve only played one Origin without Cam so it’s going to certainly be different.
“I’m not sure which way the selectors are thinking – I don’t know what they’re thinking position wise.”
With Smith suspended for one match Slater can audition on Saturday night when he captains Melbourne for the first time in his NRL career as the Storm host Manly.
Despite playing for 15 years Slater said that Smith and Cooper Cronk, now with the Sydney Roosters, were always first-choices to lead the side.
“We’ve been fortunate that Cam’s been ultra-durable and he doesn’t miss too many games,” Slater said.
“It’s not really something that I wanted to achieve.
“I play my leadership role within the team anyway and I’m pretty comfortable with that – I don’t need the ‘C’ to have a role as a leader.”
He said regardless of whether or not he was the Queensland captain he would do his best to fill the leadership void left by the retirement of Cronk and Johnathan Thurston from their side.
“It’s a big turnover – to lose those three blokes at the same time – I suppose the leaders in the team will have to take a bit more of a role there,” Slater said.
“My role on the field won’t change – but certainly off the field with direction around training I’m pretty vocal anyway.
“We’ve got quite a young squad with Queensland so I think that will help.”
Slater said he didn’t want to speculate on who should take over from Smith in the Maroons No.9 jersey or his goal-kicking duties.
“I really don’t want to speculate or push my opinion out publicly too much,” he said.
“If Kevvie asked me I’d give him my opinions but I’m sure they’re capable of picking the right team.”