Kevin Walters has cut ties with the Broncos. Picture: Annette Dew
Kevin Walters has cut ties with the Broncos. Picture: Annette Dew

Walters opens up on shock Broncos departure

KEVIN Walters says the fear of being accused of a Brisbane bias at the Queensland Origin selection table was another reason behind his decision to walk away from the Broncos.

Walters on Wednesday dropped a bombshell by severing ties with the Broncos - just six months after reaching out to super coach Wayne Bennett to return as his assistant this season.

Walters attended the launch of the State of Origin series in Melbourne on Tuesday and the engagement rammed home the pressures the Queensland coach would face in steering the Maroons to a third consecutive series win this year.

Broncos forward duo Matt Gillett and Josh McGuire are certainties for selection for Origin I, although there are concerns over the form of clubmates Darius Boyd and Anthony Milford, both of whom played for Queensland last year.

Walters faces some tough calls at the selection table in the coming weeks and admits he was mindful of the prospect of being accused of a Broncos bias.

"People might say I'm biased to the Broncos and that's not the case," Walters told Triple M on Thursday morning as he explained his sudden exit from Brisbane.

Kevin Walters has cut ties with the Broncos. Picture: Annette Dew
Kevin Walters has cut ties with the Broncos. Picture: Annette Dew

"I needed to give Origin my full attention.

"I went down to the launch of the series and I just wanted to make sure everything is right for the series.

"This year will be a difficult one with no (Johnathan) Thurston and (Cooper) Cronk (due to retirement from Origin) and any other injuries that might come up.

"I want to make sure I get it right for Queenslanders and for myself."

It is the the third time Walters has left Brisbane during Bennett's reign as Broncos coach.

Watlers was first sacked by Bennett in 2005, a move that has consistently fuelled speculation the pair do not see eye-to-eye.

Walters insists there were no heated words with Bennett when he met with the coach to announce his latest departure.

"There is no rift between Wayne and I," he said.

Maroons coach Kevin Walters speaks as Blues coach Brad Fittler looks on during the 2018 State of Origin launch in Melbourne.
Maroons coach Kevin Walters speaks as Blues coach Brad Fittler looks on during the 2018 State of Origin launch in Melbourne.

"I went and saw Wayne yesterday morning. We had a discussion and felt it was in the best interests for me to move on and get my head around Origin.

"There was no arguing  -  I love what the Broncos are doing.

"We've always had a good relationship and Wayne has been nothing but supportive of me."

Walters backed under-fire halves Milford and Kodi Nikorima to find their best form without his guidance as attack coach.

"They worked OK last year without me," he said.

"Everyone is talking about the Broncos' halves, but Darius (Boyd, fullback and captain) missed most of pre-season with his hamstring.

"It's not quite happening for the Broncos at the moment, but they have a great coaching staff and will turn it around."



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