Maroons coach Billy Slater has admitted he hasn't decided on whether he will coach Origin past 2023 ahead of Game III in Sydney. The Maroons have wrapped up another series against the Blues this year heading into the final game with Slater on the verge of making history following his 100 per cent record in series wins.
Slater has been instrumental in guiding youngster Reece Walsh throughout the series and could be set for a rare clean sweep leading into the game next Wednesday. There has only been seven clean sweeps in Origin history. And should the Maroons win in Sydney, Slater will become just the fourth person to be a part of a clean sweep as a player and coach.
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And while Slater has started his Origin career by out-coaching Brad Fittler, the Maroons legend isn't so sure about his future at the helm. Speaking in the build-up to Origin, with the player media boycott in place, Slater admitted that he isn't assured to take up the position next year because of the commitment it takes.
“We’ll worry about this year first then all that will take care of itself,” Slater said when asked bout his plans next year. While he was coy on his future, Slater didn't rule out coming back to attempt a third-straight series win.
“I’m really enjoying this. I really am, this is great but it you know, it takes up a fair bit of time," Slater added. “I’ve got a lot on so I’ll sit down with Ben Ikin, the right people and my family. It takes up a fair bit of time, even before the Origin series. We'll work out what's best for all parties and move forward."
Billy Slater takes burden on during player media snub
One of new twists facing the coaching staff of the Blues and the Maroons is the extra media commitments now players are boycotting interviews. On Wednesday, the Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) called for players to boycott media interviews, which includes next week's State of Origin, as the standoff for the collective bargaining agreement continues.
In a huge move against the code, players have been advised not to take part in interviews with the media at any stage on the weekend. And Slater said the coaching staff would drive the interviews during the fallout. "I personally don't have a reaction to it," Slater said.
"The response from the Queensland State of Origin team is the players won't be speaking to our people over the next few days, but the coaching staff will pick up the slack. The Queensland people will certainly be part of our preparation," Slater added. "That will be just through our coaching staff now.
"Over the next few days you'll hear a fair bit from (assistant coaches) Johnathan Thurston, Josh Hannay, Cameron Smith and Nate Myles. We may even get Alfie (Langer) in front of the cameras. They know what's going on in this camp."
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