Former Queensland fullback Gary Belcher says he’d be stunned if the Cowboys allow Paul Green to moonlight as the Maroons coach next season.
The premiership-winning coach is understood to be considering an offer from the Queensland Rugby League to succeed newly-appointed Australian mentor Mal Meninga in next year’s State of Origin series.
But even if he says yes, Belcher has questioned whether the Cowboys would allow him to double-up in the midst of a premiership defence.
“That’s part of the reason why Mal was so perfect for the role, and it’s why the Blues go with Laurie (Daley),” Belcher told AAP.
“It’s a bigger job than it’s ever been, coaching State of Origin. It’s not just turning up for three different weeks.
“I’d be surprised if the Cowboys released Greeny. I think his first and foremost priority would be to get the Cowboys chasing back-to-back titles.”
Not since Craig Bellamy juggled New South Wales and Melbourne Storm duties in 2008-10 has a coach taken on dual roles at interstate and club level.
Bellamy managed just two wins in nine matches for a success rate of 22 per cent – only Todd Glossop (1980-83) and John Peard (1988) had worse ratios.
But while Belcher thought Green was capable of enjoying success as an Origin coach, he is a firm believer in it being a full-time gig.
“I was involved for a fair while when Wayne Bennett was the coach of the Broncos and for Queensland. It’s a time-consuming role and it’s even more so now that Origin’s just grown and grown,” he said.
“I think he could do a good job, but he’d do a much better job if he didn’t have a job at the Cowboys.”
The QRL would not confirm whether Green had been tabled with an offer, while the Cowboys also refused to comment.
Long-time Maroons assistant Kevin Walters was deemed a shoe-in for the role following Meninga’s decision to take on the Kangaroos job, but has seemingly been overlooked.
“I thought he was plum for the job, so I’m disappointed for him,” Belcher said.
“I understand the QRL has got to get the right person. I can see why they’d interview Greeny because he’s got pretty good credentials now.”