Gould confident Origin axing awaits Green
Rugby league great Phil Gould believes Paul Green will coach his last game for the Maroons on Wednesday “regardless of the result”, with a lack of leadership to send him into Origin exile.
Having been outscored 76-6 in the first two games of the series, Green is out to avoid Queensland’s first series sweep since 2000 in the series finale.
With Green’s future clouded beyond this year, Gould highlighted a number of issues, including a lacklustre press conference following the Game Two loss, which will ultimately come down on the former Cowboys premiership-winning coach.
“They will be making a change, he won’t be going around next year,” Gould told Nine’s 100% Footy. “I can’t see that being possible regardless of the result in Game Three.
“I think the whole Queensland camp selections, the way they carried themselves. Even the way behaved after Game Two – he and the captain, there was just no positivity from them whatsoever.
“He didn’t show leadership to me. I’ve got nothing against Paul, he’s a great coach and a premiership-winning coach, but he’s just handled this assignment really badly and you can’t do it at this level, you’ve got to get it right.”
Gould, the most successful NSW Blues coach in history with six Origin series wins, was asked if whether legendary fullback Billy Slater would be the right fix to take on the head coaching duties of the Maroons.
The question was put forward to Gould following suggestions Slater was previously sounded out for the role before it was subsequently handed to Green.
Gould said if Slater was to take on the head coaching job of the Maroons, then “he would have to have others involved with him.”
“Origin, particularly for Queensland, invites successful ex-players to come back and do the job,” Gould said.
“They’re a group, they all pitch in and they will all put their shoulder to the wheel and support him.
“It doesn’t really matter whether it’s Wayne Bennett, Mal Meninga or Paul Vautin… it doesn’t matter who coaches Queensland, they’ve always got the support of everyone else around them.
“The New South Wales coach at times can be very isolated, but Queensland, it’s always a group effort.
“No one knows Origin as well as Billy Slater, it’s whether or not the nuances of preparing a team over a week and bringing them in for the contest – whether or not he will get all that right, but he will have plenty of support around him.
“He wouldn’t do it on his own, he would have to have others involved with him.”
The discussion surrounding Green’s replacement didn’t sit well with former Blues captain Paul Gallen, who claims the Maroons coach has been unfairly treated.
Gallen’s comments led to a back and forth between him and Gould, in which the latter doubled down on his original comments, revealing Green’s controversial decision to select teenager Reece Walsh in Game Two is another key reason why he won’t remain in the role.
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Gallen: “I think they’re (Queensland) forgetting who they’re playing against. They’re playing against probably the best New South Wales’ side we’ve seen. I think everyone’s been a little bit harsh [on Paul Green]. You have a look at the cattle he’s working with and the cattle he’s playing against.”
Gould: “They haven’t handled it well.”
Gallen: “I don’t care who’s coaching, put Billy Slater there, put Cameron Smith there. It doesn’t matter who’s coaching, I don’t think the results change.”
Gould: “I don’t think the results would have changed, but there have been things within the champ that haven’t been well handled, they haven’t been professional at all. You can’t deny that. I will go back to the selection of young Reece Walsh for the second game, it was just a terribly weak act from the leadership team. The way he performed at the press conference after Game Two, just smacked of a bloke who is totally out of his depth at that level.”
Gallen: “Billy Slater is a selector isn’t he? Wouldn’t Billy have been a part of that decision?”
Gould: “I don’t know what Billy does with the Queensland side.”
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