Billy Slater will continue to lead an exciting group of players after signing a three-year contract extension as the head coach of the Queensland Maroons State of Origin team.
After guiding the Maroons to consecutive Origin series wins that inspired millions of Maroons fans, the Queensland Rugby League was eager to extend Slater’s tenure.
Queensland Rugby League chief executive officer Ben Ikin said Slater’s re-appointment will ensure the men’s Origin program remains a force.
“To be able to lock in someone of Billy’s calibre is a brilliant outcome for our Origin program and the people who work with and support the Maroons,” Ikin said.
“Over the past two years we’ve witnessed a team that has made Queenslanders immensely proud, and it’s been Billy’s vision and leadership driving that.
“Our players are not only going to new levels on the field, but their commitment to engaging with our fans across the state has been first class.
“We’re excited to have Billy lead our team for the next three years and we can now step up planning for 2024.”
A fiercely proud Queenslander who grew up in Innisfail, Slater played 31 Origin matches for the Maroons after making his way into professional rugby league via the Norths Devils.
“It’s an incredible honour to be the Queensland coach. I’m excited about the journey that this current group of players and staff have embarked upon,” Slater said.
“I believe they are only getting started. From the very beginning, I was drawn to this role because I deeply understand the importance of this team to all Queenslanders.
“I’m a proud Queenslander and this team means a lot to me. It has been a massive part of my life and I’m extremely grateful to get the opportunity to help other people, not only fulfil their dream, but inspire our state.”
In addition to his 31 Origins, Slater represented Australia in 30 Test matches and played 323 games for the Melbourne Storm.
He was the Dally M Player of the Year in 2011, and the recipient of the Rugby League Golden Boot Award in 2008.
Slater has an array of other awards and accolades to his name, including being a three-time recipient of the Dally M Fullback of the Year (2008, 2011 and 2017) and a two-time recipient of both the Wally Lewis Medal (2010 and 2018) and Clive Churchill Medal (2009 and 2017).