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Billy Slater’s wife speaks out in rare interview about how she and her children cope working in one of the most stressful jobs in Australian sport

Nicole Slater has opened up about how she and her children deal with Maroons coach husband Billy, who works in a job that has chewed up and spit out some of the biggest names in football.

After retiring from the NRL in 2018, Billy moved to a farm in Victoria with his wife of 15 years and their two children, daughter Tyla and son Jake, a year later.

Now the whole family will be at the MCG on Wednesday night to cheer on Queensland in Game 2 of the State of Origin series.

“We’ve been fortunate as a family to be able to put on our maroon jerseys every year,” Nicole Slater told News Corp.

“The kids once again got the best seat in the house as they are the ball kids again this year.

“Billy’s transition from player to coach has been an honorable one to watch, as I know the long days and nights he puts into perfecting his craft to allow players to see themselves the way Billy sees them.”

Slater was handed the reins of the Maroons after Paul Green resigned following back-to-back defeats in the first two matches of the 2021 State of Origin series.

He then won the 2022 and 2023 series to establish himself as one of the Cane Toads’ top leaders.

Billy Slater’s wife speaks out in rare interview about how she and her children cope working in one of the most stressful jobs in Australian sport

Nicole Slater (pictured with her husband Billy and their children Jake and Tyla) has revealed how she and her children cope with her husband Billy working in one of the most stressful jobs in Australian sport.

Slater will coach the Maroons State of Origin team at the MCG on Wednesday evening

Slater will coach the Maroons State of Origin team at the MCG on Wednesday evening

Nicole says she learned a lot from watching her husband become a coach.

“I’ve learned a lot more since he started coaching,” she said.

“His football IQ is fascinating when you’re not a footballer yourself. We’re looking forward to Wednesday and showing Victoria what rugby league has to offer, in what I believe will be the game the most entertaining you will see.

Last month, Slater was linked with an NRL coaching job but told media he was not interested because he did not want to disrupt his precious family time.

“I’m all in for the Queensland job and if I’m not coaching Queensland I’m not coaching anyone else,” Slater told News Corp.

“I’ve been very forward with it.

“For this (being linked to Eels’ post) to be a statement in the last 24 hours… this is the first time I have been asked about this issue.

“I’m the coach of Queensland and if I’m not the coach of Queensland, I’m not coaching anyone.”

Nicole says she learned a lot from watching her husband coach the Maroons

Nicole says she learned a lot from watching her husband coach the Maroons

Slater initially signed a two-year contract to usher in a new era for Queensland.

After a very successful start as Origin coach, the 40-year-old agreed a further three-year extension in September.

Now confirmed as Queensland coach until 2026, Slater remains a Storm legend and remains connected to Melbourne.

Many believe Slater would excel as a club coach due to his strong work ethic, impressive experience and attention to detail.

However, the Queensland Origin legend has made it clear he currently has no interest in becoming one of the 17 NRL head coaches.

But this is all down to his family, not any doubts about the pressure of being an NRL mentor.

“It’s not so much the pressure of working in the NRL,” Slater said.

Slater suffered one of the toughest moments of his Origin coaching career when Reece Walsh (pictured together) was hammered in a shocking tackle in this year's opener.

Slater suffered one of the toughest moments of his Origin coaching career when Reece Walsh (pictured together) was hammered in a shocking tackle in this year’s opener.

“I’m not worried about that.

“But it’s a huge commitment to be an NRL coach, it’s an 11-month-a-year, seven-day-a-week job.

“I have worked in and around the NRL environment for over two decades now. I understand what the NRL coaches put into it and it’s all included.

“Where I am at with my life and my family, I don’t plan on ever becoming an NRL coach in the near future.

“Maybe that will change down the road, you never say never, but I’m here to do my part for Queensland.”

“I’m happy in that role and if I’m not the head coach of Queensland, well, I’m not a coach.”

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