State of Origin 2020: Queensland Maroons vs NSW Blues, Wayne Bennett brings back Mal Meninga, NRL News
The Queensland Maroons have assembled one of the greatest coaching line-ups in State of Origin history with Immortal Mal Meninga joining Wayne Bennett in trying to halt NSW winning a third straight series.
Fox Sports has learned Bennett and Meninga have been in talks for the past week and the Maroons made the champion centre’s role as an assistant coach official on Thursday afternoon.
The thirteenth Immortal Meninga famously coached Queensland to eight straight series victories from 2006 to 2013 and made it nine series out of ten for the Maroons with another winning year in 2015.
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Meninga was then appointed Australian Kangaroos coach in December of 2015 — a role he still holds today.
The NRL has approved Meninga being involved with the Maroons camp this year with all international rugby league fixtures postponed due to COVID-19.
Bennett and Meninga share a history dating back to the 1970s when they were cadets at the Queensland Police Academy.
There have been times during their professional careers as coaches where the pair have clashed — most famously when Mal beat Wayne for the job of Australian Kangaroos coach in December of 2015.
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Meninga — who played 32 matches for Queensland during a decorated career — will join Neil Henry in working alongside Bennett when Queensland go into camp on the Gold Coast after the NRL grand final.
Meninga was also famously part of the Queensland side during the inaugural series clash in 1980 when the an Arthur Beetson-led Maroons famously upset the Blues and State of Origin as we know it was born.
This year will mark 40 years of State of Origin football — a concept Meninga and Bennett will no doubt tap into as they plot to upset NSW.
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