Walters’ final shot at Broncos job
QUEENSLAND Origin mentor Kevin Walters will be formally interviewed by Brisbane hierarchy on Tuesday in what shapes as the club legend's final chance to coach his beloved Broncos.
Walters will finally get the chance to spruik his claims to replace Wayne Bennett - the man who once sacked him at Brisbane.
Walters has made no secret of his desire to become an NRL coach and has previously been overlooked for breakthrough appointments at Wests Tigers and North Queensland.
Now Walters has a chance to make it third time lucky.
The Maroons mentor will on Tuesday be quizzed by Brisbane's three-man committee, comprising CEO Paul White, chairman Karl Morris and board member Darren Lockyer, in the interview that will make or break his hopes of coaching the Broncos.
If he secures the Broncos job for 2020, Walters will be forced to resign as Maroons coach, with the Queensland Rugby League insisting he cannot be expected to juggle club and Origin commitments.
Walters is one of four coaches, including Anthony Seibold, Michael Maguire and Jason Demetriou, who have been asked by Broncos hierarchy to take part in psychometric testing.
Seibold, Maguire and Demetriou have since been interviewed, leaving Walters as the final candidate to state his case for a Broncos post he has coveted since taking up coaching 13 years ago.
Walters was sensationally axed by Bennett as his assistant in 2005 but in the ultimate irony, could find himself succeeding the super coach at Queensland's flagship club.
Time is ticking for Walters. He celebrated his 51st birthday on Saturday and history shows few NRL coaches debut in their fifties. Walters' rivals to the Broncos post - Seibold (44), Maguire (44) and Demetriou (42) - are almost a decade younger.
Should Walters miss out this time, there is an increasing possibility he may never coach the Broncos club with whom he won five premierships.
QRL chairman Bruce Hatcher is mindful of Walters' ambitions and will release him from the final year of his Queensland contract if he secures the Broncos job.
"I just don't think it's possible to handle both roles of coaching an NRL team and the ups and downs of Origin," Hatcher said.
"We would be in a significant dilemma if we let Kevvie go, but the good thing is we will have Kevvie for at least another 12 months.
"I had to sit down and discuss this (the possibility of Walters coaching Brisbane) because it's a possibility.
"I know how passionate Kevvie is about the Broncos. If he got the nod after Wayne, he would do a great job."
It is understood Bennett's replacement will be finalised in the next fortnight.
Walters was due to face the Broncos' committee last week but the interview was delayed due to Lockyer's media commitments for last night's Australia-Tonga Test in New Zealand.
Walters has been an assistant to Bennett three times, most recently in April when he resigned to focus on his Origin commitments with the Maroons.