Queensland Maroons, NSW Blues, Billy Slater, Nico Hynes

Queensland coach Billy Slater is hoping to get every answer for New South Wales at the State of Origin opener, but the rookie mentor stunned him when asked a complicated question on the day of his squad selection.

The legendary fullback was a key member of the famous eight-year reign of the Maroons, which stretched from 2006 to 2013, joining the likes of Cameron Smith, Jonathan Thurston, Greg Inglis, Cooper Crank and Sam Thaide for the greatest Origin dynasty to date.

When Slater and the Maroons captain Deli Cherry-Evans spoke to Nines 100% feet From the Queensland camp on Monday night, it opened the door for Sydney Morning Herald reporter Michael Chamas to fire a left-field question.

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“I talked to Nico Hynes, your boss,” said Chammas.

“She said she grew up hating you. She said she spent all her high school days there. None of her friends celebrated the Origin series win. I just realized there was a whole bunch of NSW players who grew up hating you. .

“Do you understand, my guess, what effect your time as a player had on many of these guys who came to the NSW set-up?”

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Slater was stunned.

“That’s a great question, Michael,” he said with a laugh.

“I’ve got a lot of love from Nico. She’s spent a lot of time in Melbourne Storm and I’ve worked with her a lot, so I don’t know if ‘hate’ is the right word.

“Great question. I never really thought about it that way.”

Hines was born and raised on the NSW’s Central Coast but cut his teeth in the NRL with Melbourne.

He can’t expect a better tutor as a growing fullback than Slater, whose legendary 319-game NRL career was in its twilight years.

Slater was invaluable for the development of Ryan Papenhuizen and Hynes, who has since moved to Halfback and moved to Halfback.

Slater was his generally humble man because he reflected the Queensland domination that hurt Hynes and his classmates.

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“You go there when you’re a player and you do your best, and that’s what I felt like I was a player,” Slater said.

“Every time I try to give my best, I always try to be a good player.

“And hopefully as a coach I can do that. I can help our players be the best they can be for those 80 minutes of June 80. That’s our goal: to help our players be the best as a team and as individuals. “

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