Queensland are searching for a new State of Origin coach after Wayne Bennett stepped down to focus on South Sydney's NRL title hopes in 2021.
After leading the Maroons to an historic victory in November, the Rabbitohs mentor has told Queensland officials he won't be taking up the job again this season.
Bennett had stepped in to replace Kevin Walters for the three-week series in November after the former Maroons coach was handed the reins in Brisbane.
The 2-1 series win is considered one of the greatest in Origin history given Bennett was forced to blood 14 debutants because of an injury crisis.
But with Origin to revert to a mid-season series in 2021, Bennett has told the Maroons his focus will be on delivering the Rabbitohs an NRL premiership.
"We were really grateful that Wayne made himself available to help us out last year," said Queensland Rugby League managing director Robert Moore.
"He was the perfect fit for the role with the players we had and the situation we were in.
"Together with his assistants Neil Henry and Mal Meninga, it was an outstanding coaching set up that laid the foundations for one of our state's greatest series wins.
"We understand the decision Wayne has made in his last year of his contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, as he's eager to concentrate his efforts on them because they've been so close (to a premiership).
"With Wayne's decision, we've now moved to a process to consider the next appointment and we anticipate that process will be completed early this year."
Bennett's call opens the door for the Maroons to appoint a long-term coach in the role, with former North Queensland coach Paul Green in the frame to land the gig.
Ex-Gold Coast coach Henry is also on the radar after assisting Bennett with the job in 2020.
The first game of the 2021 series is set to start on June 9.