Coach Slater not leaning on Origin legacy

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Billy the Kid has become Bill the Coach, leaning more on his discipline and diligence than the aura he and his star-studded Queensland coaching staff will bring in a return to the State of Origin arena.

Memories of a 20-year-old Billy Slater chipping and regathering for a famous 2004 Origin try will live long in the memories of Queensland fans.

And the nostalgia has been thick in the air at their Sanctuary Cove base on the Gold Coast this week, the rookie coach flanked by former Queensland teammates Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston, Nate Myles and Greg Inglis.

Along with Cooper Cronk and Darren Lockyer, they were central figures in Queensland's eight-straight series wins between 2006-2013.

"I've got a lot of memories of reading the newspaper around Origin time when it was Billy, Cam, JT, Nate Myles, Greg Inglis, they're all here in camp with us," bench utility Harry Grant said.

"When they talk, everyone listens. They've done it all before and been here a million times ... we're pretty lucky to have them in charge."

They haven't spent the week reminiscing though, the man now often referred to as "Bill" busy plotting what would be the side's first win in Sydney since 2017.

Captain Daly Cherry-Evans is confident his smarts and attention to detail will ensure he's up to the task as just the fourth Origin coach behind Laurie Daley, Paul Vautin and Kevin Walters to take the job without any senior head coaching experience in Australia.

"Maybe for the young fellas it has been nostalgic, but to me they're our coaching staff, easy to talk to, not overplaying their hand," captain Daly Cherry-Evans said.

"They know it's about the players, not them.

"That's the selflessness that won them eight straight, just willing to making sure the players are ready and provide that platform.

"(Slater's) clear, honest, direct, smart and it's emphasised because of the career he had ... when he says something ... it's good advice to take."

NSW will start favourites to win again in Sydney as they eye a fourth title in five years, despite star centre pair Tom Trbojevic and Latrell Mitchell missing due to injury.

The Penrith-fuelled spine of Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai and influential lock Isaah Yeo will make life difficult for a Maroons team featuring four debutants, including 19-year-old back-rower Jeremiah Nanai and Brisbane flyer Selywn Cobbo, who turned 20 on Monday.

But with Queensland's coaching staff still the source of nightmares south of the border, there will be no complacency.

"He's been massive, he's part of the reason I am here too," the Blues' 18th man Nicho Hynes, who has moved from Melbourne to Cronulla this year, said.

"I spoke to him heaps just around the grounds when he is doing (commentary) with Nine, text him a few times.

"We're going to have it out for us because he is a really good coach.

"He's got the respect. I know down at the Storm when he talks everyone listens. Everyone knows to shut up when he talks.

"He is so technical, so tactical. He is very smart with everything he does in rugby league, whether it is with a hooker, front row, second row or fullback or half.

"He knows all the minor details of everything and helps anyone out. I know that going into camp everyone will respect him for what he has done in his career, and he will get the attention pretty quickly."

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