Tony Kemp urges Warriors to seduce Billy Slater after coaching debut, responds

Former Warriors coach Tony Kemp has called on the New Zealand club to replace Queensland’s Billy Slater as head coach.

Brown stepped down after telling the club on Tuesday that he could not be committed to living in Auckland, where the Warriors are usually based.

Assistant coach Stacey Jones will take the reins for the rest of the season as the club looks for a permanent replacement.

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Slater impressed Kemp by making his coaching debut with the Maroons in Wednesday’s six-point win over the Blues. He said the former star could be the best person for a fullback job, especially if he leads his underdog Queensland squad to the Origin Series win.

“I need to see what Billy Slater can do with this original team,” Kemp told Senz Breakfast..

“Seriously, if Cam George (Warriors CEO) is watching you last night, you want a ten-year-old coach, go and offer Billy the town.”

Although Kemp acknowledged that landing Slater’s signature would be a difficult task, he said the Warriors should enter the race for the 38-year-old anyway, hoping to find a new coach.

“We need to change the attitude where we say we have no chance,” he said.

“We don’t have to take any chances and jump into the competition and give ourselves a chance.

“They said about young Smith, Brandon Smith that we didn’t get a chance with him and he left and signed for Sydney (rosters).

“In this part of my life, I think the glass is half full and seeing things happen.

“They’re probably right, but there’s a chance. If you’re not in a fight, you can either sit back and say, ‘This will never happen,’ or you’ll get into a fight.”

Slater played 31 games for the Maroons in their golden age.

Speaking after taking a 1-0 lead in the Origin series, Rookie Coach described his connection to the Queensland Group and the passion involved in leading his first-team team.

“When I was getting ready at the hotel, I thought I was playing,” he said.

“I didn’t know I was going to feel close to the group so soon.

“I’ve never coached before – but they already feel like my family – I don’t mean to say, I feel a real connection to these guys.

“I’m very proud – I’m proud to be a Queenslander and I’m really proud to be the coach of that team.”

Asked what kind of coach he became after the kick-off, Slater compared his behavior during the match to that of his fiery former Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

“I didn’t think I’d get so close to Craig Bellamy in the box, but it was a little disappointing that I was closer than I thought,” he said with a smile.

“But I always said I was going to be mine and I think I was telling the truth.”

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