Will Green go Maroon?

IN DEMAND: North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green.
IN DEMAND: North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green. GETTY IMAGES

North Queensland's board holds the key to coach Paul Green adding the Queensland Origin role to his Cowboys' responsibilities next season, a move that would be an important step towards building more history at the club.

Green, a former Queensland player who took the Cowboys to their historic first premiership this season in just his second term with the club, is understood to covet the prized coaching job.

But he needs the board's approval to replace Mal Meninga, who has upgraded to Australian coach after a decade at the helm of the Maroons which ended this year with a 9-1 record that may never be repeated.

The predicament facing the club is whether Green can devote enough of his efforts to the Cowboys' premiership defence if he also coaches Queensland.

No team has been able to go back-to-back in the NRL since the Brisbane Broncos sides of 1992-93.

The Cowboys, however, are no longer dwarfed by the shadow cast by Brisbane, which has a proud Origin player and coaching history.

After 20 years in the competition, the Townsville-based organisation is now one of the NRL's flagship teams with an exciting young coach who wants to go places, not to mention the best player in the game, Johnathan Thurston.

Becoming an Origin coach would be a huge workload for Green to take on.

But one of the bonuses would be that he would have more control over three or four of the Cowboys' big guns during the most

demanding time of the season.

Thurston, prop Matt Scott and utility Michael Morgan are walk-up selections next year barring injury, and Green would be able to monitor their progress and workload first-hand.

He also has some very capable coaching assistants at the Cowboys, including Dave Furner, who has been an assistant with the New South Wales Origin team, Wests Tigers grand final winner Todd Payten and former Queensland Origin centre Paul Bowman.

If the North Queensland club wants Green to be a long-term Cowboys coach, they may have to concede to his wishes to further himself as a coach.

Early favourite Kevin Walters remains an option for the Maroons despite reports some don't believe he is ready to take on the job with NRL coaching experience.

Nobody, though, could deny Walters, who pulled on the Maroon jumper 20 times, has the passion and the understanding of the Queensland culture to give the job a good crack if given the opportunity.

He may not have coached in the NRL, but he has learned the trade off two of the best in the business in Wayne Bennett and Craig Bellamy.

He also has the knowledge gained from being Meninga's assistant in several winning Origin camps to call on while he finds his feet.

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