Queensland poised for staggering State of Origin coaching switch

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Paul Green and Billy Slater, pictured here at Suncorp Stadium.
Paul Green will reportedly make way for Billy Slater as Queensland coach. Image: Getty

If the mail is right – and those in the know insist it is – Paul Green will coach his last Origin game on Wednesday night when the Maroons attempt to sugar-coat a disastrous campaign with a win in Game III.

Green has been out-coached, out-thought, out-manoeuvred and out of his depth every step of the way in this series.

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The Maroons were thrashed in Games I and II, scoring just six points while conceding a whopping 76.

And that leads us to the man tipped to replace him – one Billy Slater.

Slater's playing career speaks for itself. He was brilliant for club, state and country over 16 seasons and has a sharp rugby league mind. 

But his coaching CV is a thin as a Cruskit.

Three blokes who know a thing or two about Origin - Andrew Johns, Phil Gould and Cameron Smith - have all declared it's too soon to throw Slater into the cauldron.

But unless the Maroons show something really special in Game III, the Queensland hierarchy is willing to punt on Slater in what would be one of the boldest moves in Origin history.

Paul Gallen goes in to bat for Cherry-Evans

State of Origin time does strange things to people. How else do you explain Paul Gallen sympathising with a Queensland captain?

Gallen is the last person Daly Cherry-Evans thought would come to his defence, the pair acknowledging they've had their fair share of differences in the past.

But the former Blues skipper suffered more pain than any other skipper in Origin history and knows exactly what DCE is going through at the moment.

According to Gal, replacing DCE as Maroons captain after one losing series is akin to putting a Band-Aid on a shark bite.

"What has Cherry-Evans done wrong as a leader?" Gallen asked.

"I'd love to sit here and give it to him. But as a leader, what hasn't he done for Queensland?

"NSW are too good at the moment. They've got them covered.

"I don’t think he deserves to be axed."

Paul Gallen and Daly Cherry-Evans, pictured here during Game II of the 2014 State of Origin series.
Paul Gallen tackles Daly Cherry-Evans during Game II of the 2014 State of Origin series. (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Robb Cox)

Cherry-Evans stands accused of being unable to get the best out of his players and lacking 'positivity' after Queensland was lapped by the Blues in Games I and II.

We're not sure what he was supposed to do or say immediately after surveying the carnage.

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The team's problems run much deeper than their captain.

Despite the results in this series, those who have been around Origin camps for a while insist Cherry-Evans' input has been tremendous and his commitment to the cause unwavering.

A win in Game III will shore up his position as skipper but a narrow loss won’t necessarily end his tenure.

Queenslanders forever bark on about loyalty and this bloke delivered them an 'unwinnable' series just eight months ago.

And that will count for plenty.

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

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