Former Kingaroy Red Ant Matt Ballin (Photo: Wests Tigers)

February 2, 2024

Former Kingaroy Red Ant Matt Ballin has joined the Queensland Maroons coaching staff for the 2024 State of Origin series.

Matt, who has been working with the State’s Under 19 team, will fill the spot left after Cameron Smith decided to step down from his assistant coaching role.

Ballin retired as an NRL player in 2017 after 220 games.

After leaving Kingaroy, Ballin played in junior grades with the Brisbane Broncos but made his NRL debut in 2007 with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.

He was part of Manly’s premiership-winning 2008 and 2011 teams but suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2015.

Injuries also plagued his last two years in the NRL when he was signed to Wests Tigers.

Ballin is the son of well-known former Kingaroy High School principal David Ballin.

He earned a Queensland jersey as hooker for the Maroons in Game 1 of the 2010 State of Origin series, which Queensland won 28-24 before a crowd of more than 68,000 at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Maroons head coach Billy Slater praised Ballin’s coaching skills.

“I’ve seen a whole heap of value to what Matt brings to our game-day performance,” Slater said.

“I’m really excited to work alongside him and continue to help our players prepare to the best of their ability.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.