Queensland Rugby League chairman Bruce Hatcher today paid tribute to Paul Green, who has passed away.
“We send our sincere condolences to Paul’s family and friends, and the many players who prospered under his guidance over the course of his exceptional coaching career,” Hatcher said.
A former halfback / hooker, Green first made his mark in the tough Brisbane Rugby League competition. He would go on to play 162 NRL games with five clubs – Cronulla Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys, Sydney Roosters, Parramatta Eels and the Brisbane Broncos.
Green played seven State of Origin games for Queensland between 1999 and 2001, and also represented Australia during the Super League era.
“He was a tough and skilful player, I remember him playing for the Easts Tigers where he won a premiership with Jonny Lang who took him to Cronulla,” Hatcher said.
Green turned his focus to coaching following his playing career, and it wasn’t long before he was in charge of his beloved Wynnum Manly Seagulls in the then Intrust Super Cup.
Green coached the Seagulls from 2010 to 2012, before making the step up to the NRL where he guided the North Queensland Cowboys to their maiden premiership in 2015, as well as the club’s first World Club Championship.
Green’s tenure with the Seagulls provided the perfect grounding for his success with the Cowboys, who defied the odds to also qualify for the 2017 grand final.
While Green was at Wynnum Manly, the Seagulls were a powerhouse of the competition, claiming back-to-back premierships in 2011 and 2012. Along with the two premierships, Green’s Seagulls qualified for the 2010 finals. From a total of 74 games at the helm of the Seagulls, he won 45 matches (three draws, 26 losses). He also coached the Queensland Residents team during that period.
In 2021, Green was appointed to coach the Queensland Maroons. While the first two games didn’t go to script, the Maroons showed enormous character to win the final match of the series to fend off a New South Wales whitewash. At the time, Green said the win was one of the most satisfying of his career, and he heaped praise on the courage of his players.
“In my dealings with him, I thought he had very good character, he was honest, and he planned well,” Hatcher said.
“The achievement of winning one of the great grand finals in 2015 was extremely special. He also had a special relationship with Johnathan Thurston and I think it was mutual. Paul was a bit of a mentor for him and he learnt a lot from Johnathan.
“He had a distinguished and successful career in both playing and coaching. Everyone respected his commitment in a very tough rugby league world.”
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