The ‘huge’ Slater advantage that should have NSW fearing QLD revival

The prospect of Storm and Queensland legend Billy Slater coaching the Maroons has Felise Kaufusi excited and Dale Finucane worried.

Both of his former Storm teammates insist Slater, who has a three-year deal on the table from the QRL to succeed departed coach Paul Green, would do an outstanding job in the role.

NSW Blues forward Finucane, when asked if he was concerned about the prospect of Slater guiding the Maroons, said, “Oh yeah, certainly.”

“I know how much attention to detail Billy has with a team,” Finucane said.

“Even as a player, he was a coach. From a tactical point of view he will have a high expectation of what he expects from everyone.

“Coming from the Melbourne Storm system as well he would have learned a lot from Craig Bellamy and I think he will make an outstanding coach, although if I am in the NSW side I wouldn’t like to be on the receiving end of his coaching.”

Kaufusi, who has played 12 Origins under Kevin Walters, Wayne Bennett and Green, said Slater would be ideal in the role after a fabulous 31-game Maroons career as a player.

“It is just the passion he has for the game, not just in clubland but for that Maroons jersey,” Kaufusi said.

“Then there is his footy IQ. He is one of the smartest players and has a good grip on where the game is heading so would be a good fit for that Origin arena.

“He has lived through it. When he speaks everyone listens to what he has to say.”

Kaufusi said Slater not having coached a team before was not an issue. He said as part of the Queensland support staff as a consultant, Slater had proven his capabilities.

Billy Slater