Queensland great Billy Moore throws up Cameron Smith as possible Maroons captain-coach
December 10, 2015 12:20pm
Ben GloverFOX SPORTS
QUEENSLAND legend Billy Moore says the QRL has made a mistake by offering Paul Green the Maroons coaching job ahead of natural successor Kevin Walters.
The Courier-Mail on Wednesday reported that Walters had been passed over for the job, with the Cowboys premiership coach installed as the preferred option, even though he would have to juggle the job with his full-time club commitments.
Moore described that juggling act as “really tough” for any NRL coach, let alone someone in such an early stage of his career, and gave his full backing to Walters despite the QRL’s apparent belief that the long-time assistant coach isn’t up to it.
“I think Kevvy Walters is the automatic heir apparent for a number of reasons,” Moore said.
“ … I think it’s been proven that the current system works. You’ve seen what Mal Meninga’s been able to achieve as a sole Origin coach without NRL commitments and Laurie Daley’s done a similar thing as well.
“I think he’s been fantastic as NSW coach in a stand-alone capacity.
“It’s always easy to think about the positive side but thinking about the negative, when some of the great coaches have come into Origin that have had NRL duties, it’s really onerous on them.
“Craig Bellamy’s a classic example, you just thought there was too much on his plate to try to keep the club momentum there and at the same time service what’s required for State of Origin.”
It is understood that the Cowboys will block the QRL’s offer to Green, reopening the debate on who should succeed Meninga.
Moore said Walters would take the job despite initially being overlooked, describing the affable former Queensland half as “surprised, not insulted, that it hasn’t gone his way”.
However, if the QRL stuck to their guns and went in a different direction due to the belief Walters isn’t up to it, Moore extraordinary declared Cameron Smith could captain-coach the side.
“I’d be interested to see if it could be explored. It doesn’t need to be in this case because we’ve got Kevvy but in theory if Kevvy’s not there and no one else wants to do it he could do it because he’s just so composed on the field,” Moore said.
“I’d almost say he’s the Roger Federer of rugby league because when you watch Roger Federer play does he ever look dishevelled? Does he ever look exhausted? Does he ever reveal his emotions so you know what he’s thinking? No.
“And when you look at Cameron Smith he’s exactly the same.
“He probably could. (As a player) I was flat out thinking about what I had to do let alone worrying about what everyone else had to do, but for him to do it, it would be amazing to see if it’s possible in the modern era.
“He would be one of the very few who you’d even contemplate giving a job like that, especially when you think (Origin) is the fastest game that rugby league’s got.
“He’d have to think about his role as well as be aware what was happening around him both on and off the field.”
Matthew Johns has previously declared Smith has the capabilities to take a captain-coaching role, although it would take a remarkable set of circumstances for it to happen in today’s game.
Even if the QRL can’t get Green and is unsatisfied by the prospect of giving the job to Walters, it is extremely unlikely, although there isn’t exactly a long line of candidates remaining.
Darren Lockyer and Michael Hagan have also ruled themselves out of contention and Moore said it appeared the QRL has been caught cold by Meninga’s decision to walk away to take the Kangaroos coaching job.
“I thought it was reasonably common knowledge that Mal was pretty keen to take the Kangaroos job when it became vacant,” Moore said.
“You thought it was probably a pretty good time to move on even though Mal had just signed a three-year extension. I think there was a get-out clause in that contract anyway.
“So it does sort of look like the QRL has been caught on the hop even though that’s not Queensland’s style to get caught out like this.
“I understand that they want it to be transparent and throw it open to all candidates who throw their hat in the ring but I would have thought that Kevvy was the automatic selection.”