Paul Green, Coach and Former NRL No. 1 Winning Player, Dies at 49 | NRL

The NRL is in shock following the death of manager Paul Green, 49, the winner of the premiership. Green is reported to have died at his Brisbane home on Thursday morning, and an autopsy will be carried out.

A star in his own right as a player, Green made 162 appearances for five different clubs as a running back, fifth-eighth and hooker, as well as playing seven State of Origins for Queensland. But he will always be remembered as the man who helped guide North Queensland to its first premiership in 2015.

In all, he was in charge of the Cowboys in 167 games and the 2015 title came in only his second season as head coach. He left the club in 2020 and took over as coach from home state Queensland last year.

When he quit that job last September, it seemed certain he would resume his NRL coaching days. He was linked to the Wests Tigers at the end of last season and he was expected to take on a role with the Dolphins next year.

Green’s death will hit the NRL hard. Beyond those still in North Queensland, he has coached a number of players throughout the game who began their careers in Townsville or played for the Maroons last year.

On Thursday night alone, Cameron Munster, Xavier Coates and Viliame Kikau were among those who would take to the pitch just hours after learning of their former manager’s death.

Green was in Sydney last weekend for the reunion of former players from Cronulla, a club for which he played 95 games before moving north with the Cowboys. He was also part of the Sydney Roosters’ first-place winning team in 2002, before ending his playing days at Parramatta and Brisbane.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Queenslander and former Bronco, Paul Green,” the Broncos tweeted. “A legend on and off the field who left too soon.”

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