Queensland champion Cameron Smith has warned against appointing an NRL club coach to the State of Origin job, saying the role deserves one-eyed attention.
It comes as the door opens for Wayne Bennett to stay on as Maroons coach in 2021 as well as hold onto his job as head coach of South Sydney.
Melbourne's Craig Bellamy was the last club coach to try and juggle the two demanding roles and despite his enviable NRL record, NSW won just two of nine games under his rule.
And if Bellamy couldn't make it work, the former Queensland captain isn't sure anyone can.
"If I was coaching, I think I'd probably try and make it a stand-alone role, just because of how big the Origin is now," Smith said on Monday.
"There's a lot of commitments outside of the game.
"Having the opportunity to spend time going around to all the different clubs and speaking with players that can potentially be involved in State of Origin for that series.
"Having time to be able to sit back and build a team that you feel will be competitive.
"That would be the best option, rather than having an NRL coach."
Bellamy is well known for his relentless pursuit of perfection as one of the most successful NRL coaches in history.
However, against the champion Maroons side he could not lead the Blues to a series win.
His three seasons in charge from 2008 finished in a 2010 whitewash before the Blues turned to Ricky Stuart.
Watching how Bellamy prepares the Storm, Smith doesn't believe it's possible to do both jobs with equal energy.
"I'm just basing that on watching Craig and the way he operates down in Melbourne," Smith said.
"Every moment of his day is spending time on making the Melbourne Storm the very best we can be.
"I'd find it really difficult to be able to handle that job as NRL coach and then be able to switch off and make time for that Origin team."
The Maroons are yet to appoint a coach for the 2021 series.
Australian Associated Press