Billy Slater has confirmed his interest in taking charge of Queensland as discussions with the QRL continue, though the champion fullback is wary of the commitment the post requires.
The Maroons great has been touted as the favourite to succeed Paul Green in a variety of possible coaching structures, with long-time Queensland teammates Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston also in line for potential assistant roles.
A senior figure with years of Origin experience – a bill current assistant Neil Henry fits, as does Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga – is also considered a requisite to support a figure like Slater, who has no formal coaching experience.
Green's exit has prompted the QRL to seek long-term stability in their next coaching appointment after three different coaches in as many years.
Slater is now mulling over what would be his first foray into top-level coaching along with his current commitments that include a Storm coaching consultancy role and Channel Nine commentary duties.
Match Highlights: Blues v Maroons
"We haven’t got to an offer or an acceptance [situation] just yet," Slater said during Nine's coverage of Melbourne's thumping defeat of Manly.
"There's been an expression of my interest in coaching the Queensland team and given the care that I have for Queensland and how high I hold the role, I'm certainly considering it.
"But at the same time I've got some existing commitments, I've got family commitments and I respect the role that much that I know how much I'll put into the role.
"I know how much it will demand and the commitments it will take so it's not just an easy decision to say yes but certainly some consideration there."
Let's tackle this together
Slater also pointed to the fact the Maroons top job "is not just to turn up for three games and coach a footy team", with Green pushing for a greater QRL focus on emerging pathways in the state.
"The direction the QRL want to go with for this position is building for the future," Slater said.
"I care about Queensland, I know how much this team means to the Queensland public. It is an inspiration to them. I have got to consider everything before I make a decision."
It's understood the QRL want ideally a three-year commitment from the next coach.
NSW opponent Brad Fittler for example is signed on to coach his fifth campaign in 2022, with a NSWRL board meeting next week expected to raise the prospect of that tenure being further extended.
Fittler's well-run Blues setup sees fellow former Origin greats Danny Buderus, Craig Fitzgibbon and Andrew Johns as his assistants and Greg Alexander as the Blues coaching advisor.
Appointing a combination of Slater, Smith or Thurston could offer Queensland a similar base to work from with support for the concept expected from former Maroons teammate Cooper Cronk after recently joining the QRL board as an independent director.
Both Thurston and Smith, along with Storm coach Craig Bellamy have warmly supported Slater for Queensland's top job throughout the week.