Billy Slater's revelation about family as Queensland coach responds to Parramatta NRL links

The Melbourne Storm legend has made a huge call on his chances of becoming a full-time NRL coach.

Billy Slater has revealed he has no desire to be a full-time NRL coach and give up precious time with his young family, amid calls for the Parramatta Eels to try and secure his services. The Eels parted ways with long-time coach Brad Arthur this week, and State of Origin mentors Slater and Michael Maguire have both been linked to the job.

Maguire is reportedly keen on the Parramatta job, but Slater was thought as more of an outside chance rather than a real possibility. But the Queensland Maroons coach put the speculation firmly to bed on Thursday afternoon, telling the Courier Mail he has no desire to take the Eels job.

Billy Slater with wife Nicole.
Billy Slater doesn't want to give up time with wife Nicole and their kids to be a full-time NRL coach. Image: Getty

The 40-year-old said he's happy doing the Maroons job because it allows him to spend more time with his wife and kids than a full-time NRL role. “I am all in for the Queensland job and if I’m not coaching Queensland, I’m not coaching anyone else,” Slater said.

“It’s not so much the pressure of the NRL job. I’m not worried about that. But it’s a huge commitment being an NRL coach - it’s an 11-month of the year, seven days a week job. I’ve been in and around the NRL environment for over two decades now. I understand what those NRL coaches put into it and it’s all in.

"Where I am at with my life and my family, I don’t foresee myself in the near future ever becoming an NRL coach. Maybe that changes down the track - you never say never - but I’m here to do my part for Queensland. I’m happy in this role and if I’m not the Queensland head coach, well, I’m not a coach.”

Billy Slater, pictured here with wife Nicole and their children Tyla and Jake.
Billy Slater with wife Nicole and children Tyla and Jake.


Slater is contracted to be Queensland coach until 2026, and it's unlikely he would take any other NRL job than the Melbourne Storm one. Craig Bellamy recently announced he's staying Storm coach in 2025, while assistant Jason Ryles has also been linked to the Eels gig.

"The only club I could ever see Billy coaching is Melbourne Storm," leading journalist James Hooper said this week. "And that’s if he has a desire whatsoever to coach in the NRL – which at this point with all his media commitments, all his other commitments in life, I don’t think he does."

Bellamy said he wouldn't stand in Ryles' way if he wanted to pursue a head-coaching role elsewhere. "It's not in my control," Bellamy told AAP on Wednesday. "We're not going to concern ourselves with things that we don't know are going to happen. We don't want him to go but it's not very often that you get those sort of opportunities so if he wanted to go I wouldn't imagine we would stand in his way."

Michael Carayannis of News Corp revealed this week that Maguire 'wants' the Eels job, but the timing is tricky considering he's only just taken on the NSW State of Origin role. "He wants that job," Carayannis said on NRL 360. "I think he’s the best-experienced coach on the market. If that’s the way they’re going to go – to go for an experienced coach who has NRL experience, Michael Maguire is the best option."