Premiership-winning NRL coach Paul Green dies, aged 49

Premiership-winning NRL coach Paul Green has passed away, aged 49.

A terrific player who represented Queensland on seven occasions and played over 150 games in the top grade, Green was a well-respected figure within rugby league circles. 

Green is perhaps most well-known for his coaching career however, after leading the North Queensland Cowboys to their maiden title in 2015.

He also coached the Maroons during the 2021 State of Origin series, before stepping away from the role. 

He is survived by his wife Amanda and two children, Emerson and Jed. 

Green had been linked with a number of vacant coaching roles in recent months after stepping away from the Origin job, and was involved in the Sharks ‘old boys’ event last Saturday night. 

Tributes began to flow on Thursday for Green from all across the game.

Cowboys chairman Lewis Ramsay paid tribute to Green and his contribution to the club. 

“Paul first came to our club as a player in the late 90s and was the club’s first Origin representative, but his lasting legacy emanated from his seven-season tenure as head coach of the North Queensland Cowboys,” he said. 

“Paul’s arrival as head coach transformed our club from finals contenders to an immediate premiership force, culminating in the historic 2015 Grand Final victory.

“We will forever remember Paul as one of the greatest contributors in Cowboys history.”

In a playing career that spanned a decade, Green played 162 games across stints with the Sharks, Cowboys, Roosters, Eels and Broncos, before retiring in 2004.

A crafty and tenacious halfback, Green won the Rothmans Medal in 1995 while playing for Cronulla, and became the Cowboys’ first-ever Origin representative in 1999. 

As a coach, Green took over at the Cowboys in 2014 and won a premiership in his second year. He went on to lead the Townsville-based outfit on 167 occasions, finishing with a winning percentage over 50 per cent. 

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