'Too early' for iconic trio to coach Maroons

2 weeks ago 21
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Rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns says it's excessively aboriginal for the imagination squad coaching trio of Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston to instrumentality implicit astatine the Maroons.

In the aftermath of Paul Green's daze exit from the Maroons, Slater has emerged arsenic the frontrunner to onshore the caput coaching duties of the Maroons.

Slater, who retired astatine the extremity of 2018, was sounded retired for the role earlier it was subsequently handed to the erstwhile Cowboys coach.

While Slater finds his sanction again successful the mix, the imaginable of a three-man coaching squad consisting of the legendary fullback, on with erstwhile Queensland teammates Smith and Thurston, has besides been floated.

But Johns claims the timing isn't close for the trio and suggested Queensland look astatine luring backmost either Mal Meninga oregon Wayne Bennett, who person some enjoyed immense occurrence astatine Origin level.

Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston sermon tactics during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin grooming league astatine ANZ Stadium connected June 23, 2009 successful Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) (Getty)

"I deliberation it's a stand-alone position," Johns told Wide World of Sports' Freddy and The Eighth.

"The 2 radical who basal retired are Mal Meninga, whether helium tin bash some the Australian squad and besides Queensland, and if Wayne Bennett doesn't get a commencement adjacent year.

"They're the evident choices.

"I conscionable deliberation it's a spot aboriginal for those blokes [Slater, Smith and Thurston].

"That's conscionable what I think, I deliberation it's a spot early."

Blues manager Brad Fittler, who has won 3 of the past 4 Origin series, said coaching is simply a one-man occupation earlier questioning whether the trio would person the acquisition to measurement up into the role.

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"You would person 1 manager and past a mates of assistants," Fittler said.

"I'm definite they could enactment unneurotic a truly bully coaching staff. I accidental the 1 happening they bash miss is having the acquisition of coaching. None of them person coached.

"I cognize Johnathan Thurston was an adjunct this twelvemonth and I'm definite helium would've learnt from that.

"My champion lessons were learnt coaching the (NSW) 16s and 18s for a fig of years, wherever each those players person travel done and I person large relationships with each of them.

"I reckon astatine slightest fractional a dozen, 10 of those players are either successful the squad oregon close connected the fringe. I recovered that taught maine much than thing - coaching the kids and getting the champion retired of the kids, and watching them travel done and gathering relationships from a young age."

Responding to Fittler's comments, Johns said the "little things" that spell into coaching are captious to recognize earlier taking connected the challenge.

Rugby league fable Andrew Johns (Getty)

"I hold with Freddy (Fittler)," Johns added.

"I deliberation you've got to beryllium successful that benignant of system, I deliberation knowing the pressure.

"Even small things similar however to negociate the interchange and things similar that.

"I'm definite they would bash a large job, but if I was advising them I would deliberation it's excessively aboriginal for them to bash it."

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