Rugby league: NRL Premiership-winning coach Paul Green dead at 49 & More New Zealand News


Paul Green. Photo / Photosport

NRL icon Paul Green has died aged 49.

The former footy star turned premiership-winning coach passed away at his home in Brisbane on Thursday morning, the Courier Mail reports.

According to the publication, a post-mortem will be carried out to determine the cause of death.

Green’s passing is another shocking loss to the Australian sports community. Earlier this year Australian cricket legends Rod Marsh, Shane Warne and Andrew Symonds also died.

Green had a decorated career as a player, stepping onto an NRL field more than 150 times for a host of clubs including the Cronulla Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys and Sydney Roosters. A scheming playmaker, Green played 95 games for the Sharks and was at the Roosters when they won the 2002 premiership.

The footy legend also played seven State of Origin matches for Queensland.

Green finished his NRL career at the Broncos in 2004 before turning his hand to coaching. His greatest achievement was leading the Cowboys to their maiden premiership in 2015, when they defeated Brisbane in one of the most thrilling grand finals in history.

Green also coached Queensland’s State of Origin team in 2021, when they lost the series to NSW 2-1.

After seven years in charge of North Queensland, he was replaced by Todd Payten at the end of 2020. Green’s name had been thrown about as a potential mentor for a number of NRL sides who have parted ways with their coaches this year, including the Wests Tigers, Bulldogs and Warriors.

According to reports, Green was also offered a gig as assistant coach to Wayne Bennett at the Dolphins, who will enter the NRL competition next year.

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