Hodges: The man to turn Titans around

There's no question that the next coaching appointment at the Titans will be critical to the success of that club.

I'm sure they'd love to be able to bring someone in like a Wayne Bennett or Craig Bellamy but to my mind the best person they can get is Kevin Walters.

I know his name has already been tossed up a bit but the Titans' next coach needs to be someone who is strong-willed and can set the culture and Kevvie has proven in the last two years with the Queensland team that he possesses both of those qualities.

Given how many senior players have left in recent years it looks as though the Titans have lost the connection to the culture that was first set at the club 10 years ago and Kevvie is someone who will reconnect the players with the club's history while also setting a new culture of his own.

Kevvie first started his coaching career as an assistant at the Broncos not long after he finished playing and although he has that reputation as being a bit of a character you need that to be a good coach so that your players will love you, respect you and play for you.

The great thing about Kev is that he gets to know his players personally and mixes well with them but he also knows when to set the standards and how to enforce them. He's very smart in the way he coaches.

In his role as assistant coach working under Wayne, Kevvie played a massive part in the Broncos getting to the grand final in 2015. He worked really closely with Ben Hunt, Anthony Milford, Darius Boyd and Andrew McCullough and he put a lot of hard work into his preparation so those guys in particular could take the field feeling confident in the roles they had to play for the team.

He's an incredibly passionate person so wherever he goes and whatever he does he will be successful because he will put everything he has into making sure that the team and the club has success.

After Mal Meninga had won nine out of 10 Origin series with Queensland the next coach who came in was always on a hiding to nothing but Kevvie has done an amazing job to win two series under pretty difficult circumstances.

People say he had access to the same calibre of players that Mal did but Kevvie had to win this year's series without Greg Inglis, Matt Scott, Johnathan Thurston for two games and Darius Boyd in the decider. I don't think anyone south of the border would have thought they would lose with those guys missing from the Queensland team.

He copped a hiding from New South Wales in the first game but he didn't panic and the fact that he made some really tough decisions to drop some senior players showed that he has the strength to make those difficult decisions when they need to be made.

Of course, Kevvie has a guaranteed gig with the Maroons that he loves doing so the question is: should he take the Titans job?

There's no doubt that whoever the next coach is will be faced with a huge challenge but I think Kevvie would see it as a great opportunity to go down there and restructure the entire set-up.

That's what it needs, a good strong coach, a strong leadership group, a good front office and to all have a common goal and work together and not against each other.

Kevvie is definitely the person that can do all of that.

Can he get the best out of Jarryd Hayne? He'll at least have to get him to buy in to what he wants to achieve.

With his work at the Storm, the Broncos and with the Maroons Kevvie has worked with a lot of the superstars of our game and if he got the job I'm sure one of the first people he would talk to would be Haynesy.

You need your superstar player on board and to work with him closely and make sure you keep him focused on the target.

Kevvie has waited a long time for an opportunity to be an NRL head coach and the timing could be just right for both him and the Titans.

Final thought

I know technically Canberra can still make the top eight but they are for mine the biggest disappointment of 2017. They had an opportunity to win that game against the Panthers last Sunday and let it slip through their hands when a win would have put them in position to make the finals. I don't doubt their effort this year and they have lost a lot of close games but that to me highlights the fact that they need a senior half who can close out a game when things get tight. That's where they fall behind a lot of teams, the fact that they haven't got an older head to grind out a game.