‘Wonderful opportunity’: Smith will ‘certainly consider’ joining Maroons coaching staff

Cameron Smith could join the Maroons’ coaching staff with the Queensland legend confirming he would “certainly consider” lending his knowledge in next year’s Origin series.

Smith told The Australian’s Brent Read that he’d take up a role if it fit in with his family and work commitments.

“If I am approached for next year then I would certainly consider it,” he said.

“The main factor would be the impact on my situation with family and other commitments I have. If it works in with the commitments that I already have, and in particular if it doesn’t have a huge impact on my family time, I would (do it).

“It is one point I made when I did finish, the next couple of years I wanted to dedicate a lot of my time back to my family.

“They are the ones who missed out for a decade. That would be part of the consideration. I am not closing the door on it because having an opportunity to coach the Queensland State of Origin side, that would be a wonderful opportunity.

“As long as the timing was right and I felt it was the right thing for my wife and children as well, that is where the decision will be made. It would be a great job to be working with the Queensland Origin side.”

Read spoke of his conversation on NRL 360, revealing that he first thought the champion No.9 was putting his hat in the ring to be Queensland’s next head coach.

“Cam just said he’d be interested in he’d be interested in helping Queensland out next year if the opportunity arose and if it fit in with his family commitments and work commitments,” Read said.

“But I’ve got to say, initially when I was talking to him I thought he was actually talking about coaching the team the way he spoke and I just checked that after we finished. I said ‘you’re not talking about coaching the team are you?’ and he said ‘no, no, coming in to help out and potentially be on the staff’.”

Cooper Cronk — who spent over a decade with Smith at the Storm — was not surprised by the legendary hooker’s interest and believes not just coming in as an assistant, but one day being the head coach of Queensland would be perfect for him.




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Cronk will shortly begin his role with the Queensland Rugby League as an independent director so will have some input on the future of the Maroons.

“I always thought coaching Queensland is right in Cameron Smith’s slot. I think short periods of time, big impact without really diving into week-to-week football is right down his alley so I’m not surprised about that,” he told NRL 360.

“There’s no doubt having the crew in terms of having (Billy) Slater, Smith and (Johnathan) Thurston, the more they can be around the set-up, is great for the future.

“So there’s no doubt there’s some discussions to be had soon, I think a decision will be made some time soon but it’s not about people applying, it’s about the QRL working out what exactly is the best set-up or structure and getting the person that best fits that.”

Paul Green was brought in to coach the Maroons this year. He replaced Wayne Bennett who was rushed in after Kevin Walters stood down from the job to take up the head coaching gig with the Broncos.

After leading Queensland to a shock series win in 2020, Bennett returned to his post at the Rabbitohs, opening the door for Green.

Read believes Green will likely get the nod to lead the Maroons again and his role will be much broader with Queensland planning on following NSW’s blueprint in regards to developing players.

“I think it’ll be Paul Green again. I think they’ll initially offer Paul Green the job again and it’ll be an expanded role for him,” he said.

“This year he came in purely for Origin but he’ll be given the opportunity to do Origin as well as some pathway work with them. And my gut feeling is ‘Greeny’ will take it, so ‘Greeny’ will be back next year.”

However Cronk reminded the panel that Wayne Bennett is out of work next year and is a very viable option.

“There’s a lot of options. Obviously there’s Paul Green, there’s a certain someone who hasn’t got a job (in 2022) and has four job applicants in Wayne Bennett, who did a really good job and you’ve got Thurston, Smith and Slater hanging around,” he said.

Meanwhile, Read said Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga is another name that could be considered if he stepped down from coaching the Australian team.


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