New State of Origin coach Billy Slater has confirmed Josh Hannay will join the Queensland Maroons as an assistant coach in 2022.
Hannay supported Kevin Walters throughout the 2018 series (pictured above), the same year Slater played his final match for the Maroons.
Now the two proud Queenslanders will reunite in the coaches box, as Slater begins the process of assembling his support staff.
Slater believed Hannay was a great fit for the Maroons.
“I think he’s got a big future in the coaching game and it’s only a matter of time before he’s leading his own club,” Slater said.
“He’s had a lot of experience after being handed the reins in some tough circumstances (in the National Rugby League) and I think he’s handled himself really well.
“Every dealing that I’ve had with him, whether it be at Origin level or throughout the media, has been positive and I think he’s got a really intelligent football mind that will add a lot of value to the playing group which is what we’re looking for.”
Hannay featured for both the North Queensland Cowboys and the Cronulla Sharks in a professional playing career that spanned 12 years.
He launched his coaching aspirations with the Moranbah Miners and then the Souths Logan Magpies, paving the way for representative opportunities with the Queensland Under 18s and Queensland Under 20s.
In recent years, he has worked as both an assistant coach and interim head coach at the Cowboys and Sharks, impressing many along the way.
“I’m honoured to be involved in a new coaching group with Billy and the other people he’s going to have on board,” Hannay said.
“To be part of that is going to be exciting, but also (we’re) acutely aware of the challenge ahead in getting the shield back against a New South Wales team that looks probably as strong as it has been in a long time.”