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QRL set to release Walters if he gets Broncos job

The QRL board will release Kevin Walters from his Maroons contract if the Broncos insist he cannot do both jobs.

The board met on Friday morning to discuss a variety of scenarios they will face if Walters, contracted as the Queensland coach until the end of the 2021 series, is offered the Broncos role.

A decision by the Broncos between Walters and former Cowboys coach Paul Green is imminent.

Walters appears to be the front-runner and NRL.com understands the Broncos, given the club's perilous position after claiming their first wooden spoon in history, will require him to focus solely on his Brisbane duties if given the gig.

Technically, the QRL could dig their heals in and force Walters to fulfil his contract with them.

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That is because when he re-signed until the end of 2021 earlier this year a clause was removed that had allowed him to terminate his Maroons deal if he got a head coaching gig.

QRL chairman Bruce Hatcher made it clear the board would not stand in Walters’s way.

"I wouldn’t do that and I think we are unanimous on that," Hatcher told NRL.com.

"I hope Kevin gets it."

When the QRL board met on Friday they were discussing essentially three options.

  • Walters stays with the Maroons and completes his contract until the end of 2021;
  • He accepts the Broncos job and is allowed to coach the Maroons in the 2020 Origin series in November;
  • Walters takes the Broncos job and relinquishes his position with the Maroons

The second option raised massive questions about whether coaching the wooden spooners and the Maroons was too big a job.

There was a variance of opinion with the board on that with some prepared to allow Walters to do both roles.

"The reservation with that is that he is going into such a mess," Hatcher said.

"I just think that if he gets the Broncos job the amount of preparation he has to do for a season that starts in six weeks or so would be overpowering.

"You’ve got to work out how distracting it would be to start the rebuilding of a completely shattered culture and whether you could pigeonhole that until the end of November.

"We did some scenario planning around what we would do if he gets the Broncos job. Some feel that he can’t do both just because of the extent of the job because he will be judged absolutely on those results.

"As chairman I wouldn’t want to have further discussion until I have spoken with Kevin, so if  he rang me up now and said he had the job I would want to see him  immediately.

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"The board has to make the decision but as a courtesy I have to talk to him and say 'what do you want?’"

One final item the board discussed was who they would target if Walters was unavailable in November.

Hatcher said there was a key difference between the situation earlier in the year when Origin was originally scheduled when it came to coaching options.

"We have got two highly credentialed coaches who could fill the job in Wayne Bennett and Paul Green," Hatcher said.