Kev breaks Broncos silence
GUTTED WALTERS SHELVES NRL COACHING DREAM
KEVIN Walters won’t pursue an NRL coaching job in the immediate future after the disappointment of miss- ing out on the Broncos job. Speaking for the first time since the coaching saga, the Maroons coach says he has moved on and wants to focus on winning the State of Origin.
KEVIN Walters has shelved his ambitions to coach at NRL level after his bid for the Broncos job ended in disappointment. Walters will instead concentrate on his role as Maroons coach, describing it as “the best job in the world”.
KEVIN Walters says he will not hesitate to blood more young forwards to provide the blunt force needed to wrest back State of Origin supremacy next year.
Of Australia’s nine forwards who played in last month’s Test loss in Auckland, only two are Queenslanders – Josh McGuire and Felise Kaufusi.
Players like Joe Ofahengaue and even young Broncos teammates David Fifita and Jaydn Su’A would come into consideration if they can put convincing form on the board early next season.
Ofahengaue, 23, is closest of the three Broncos to an Origin call-up, with 21-yearold Su’A making good strides before breaking an ankle in July and Fifita, 18, impressing with an 11-game NRL stint.
Walters will ensure Ofahengaue has chosen to be available for Queensland first rather than the Tongan team he could play for in the June representative weekend.
“It’s a discussion we will have with him but he was very close to selection this year,’’ said Walters, who leaves on Monday on a factfinding visit to two British rugby union teams.
“We’d have no hesitation if the case is there for young players. We brought Kalyn Ponga through this year and he was 20.
“If you are good enough you are old enough. Some of those guys have shown some strong glimpses of what they can do. The other two (Su’A and Fifita) will be in our Emerging Origin squad.
“We are putting a lot of work into them to help make them future Origin players.’’
Titan Jai Arrow was a successful addition to the Maroons’ forwards rotation as a 22-year-old debutant in a losing series this year.
Queensland will hope to be able to draw on Matt Gillett, 30, again in 2019, provided he is cleared this month by one last scan on his neck, which he fractured in April.
Queensland had a good blend of ages in their Game Three win, with five of the nine forwards aged 28 or older, including Gavin Cooper, 32, and Tim Glasby, 29.
Walters did not want to disclose which British teams he would visit. “These are rep teams,” he said. “It’s more of a scenario we face as a representative team.
“I’m just going to look at how other successful teams do things and make sure we are on the right track, which I’m sure we are.
“It’s more of a little personal development ... always good to mix with other sports and leaders. The aim is to make me a better coach and hope it transitions through the team and the staff.’’
WINNING AND LOSING IT: Marcus Stoinis is swamped by his teammates after dismissing David Miller to help Australia to victory.
GOOD STRIDES: Jaydn Su’A is in contention for a spot.