Walters 'very keen' on Maroons job
Broncos and Maroons assistant coach Kevin Walters has thrown his hat into the ring for the Queensland State of Origin coaching role vacated by new Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga, but insists he's yet to begin discussions with the QRL.
Speaking at the Brisbane Broncos' pre-season training, Walters expressed his desire to continue the work done by Meninga over the past decade but said he was in the dark as to when the QRL will appoint their next Origin coach.
"I haven't had any talks to be honest with you, when Mal got the position I suppose they've got a process they've got to go through themselves to find the next Queensland coach," Walters said.
"I don't even know what that timeframe is for them to make their decision, but certainly I'm very keen on the post."
Michael Hagan is another contender for the role, with the former Maroons head coach having left his position at the Newcastle Knights at the end of season 2015. Much like Walters, his appointment would be a largely seamless transition, having worked closely with Meninga as a Maroons assistant since 2010.
Well-credentialed having spent time under Meninga and Wayne Bennett, Walters said there was no need for a drastic overhaul of the Queensland system but added he'd be very much his own man if appointed.
"The senior players in that Origin side are as good as any Queensland team we've had so regardless of who comes in I don't think they're going to change too much," he said.
"Well, they'd be silly to change too much of what's been a very successful Origin team in the past 10 years. Particularly with the playing strength they have there, they don't need a lot of coaching those boys."
"I think you've got to add your own touch to anything. [Bennett and Meninga] are great coaches in their own right, but if I try to be like them and do what they do, that's not the way I should do things.
"I've got to be myself and my personality is certainly different to those two, but it's been great learning off those two as well, they're two of the greats."
QRL chairman Peter Betros said there was no need to rush through the appointment of the next Queensland coach, with the prospect of a current NRL coach taking control still on the table.
"We'd like to think we'll have an appointment made in January... we want to make sure we get the right coach to take the Maroons to the next level," Betros said.
"We haven't ruled anyone out, or anyone in, at the moment; we're just having a look at who's available.
"There are no rules that say an NRL coach can't coach the Maroons, so no one's ruled out."
Betros also confirmed Meninga would continue assisting the QRL with elite development pathways as he searches for the next crop of Kangaroos stars.