Kevin Walters wants an NRL coaching gig.
Kevin Walters wants an NRL coaching gig.

Walters responds to Bennett snub

AS THE Brisbane coaching saga drags on Queensland coach Kevin Walters will be watching with interest to see what moves are made.

Broncos coach Wayne Bennett last week challenged the board to make a decision on his future and club powerbrokers responded by saying they would discuss their plans with the veteran mentor in October after the season.

Bennett is contracted until the end of 2019 but when he approached the board for a one-year extension on his deal he was reportedly knocked back.

Few in rugby league circles expect Bennett to be in charge at Red Hill in 2020 but the whispers will continue until something is made official.

Walters was an assistant coach at Brisbane but walked away from his post midway through the season.

Publicly he said it was because he needed more time to concentrate on his Origin commitments with the Maroons but reports suggested he was concerned with the direction the club was heading in and his diminished role in coaching the team's halves.

Wayne Bennett’s future remains clouded.
Wayne Bennett’s future remains clouded.

Walters has made no secret of his desire to one day be an NRL coach - ideally with the Broncos - but Bennett snubbed him when he approached the board with a succession plan that recommended assistant coach Jason Demetriou take the reins when the mastercoach's tenure ended.

Walters' name has been largely absent in discussions about who would take over from Bennett as Souths coach Anthony Seibold, who is off contract at the end of 2019, has become a hot favourite.

Speaking on Sky Sports Radio's Big Sports Breakfast, Walters said he wasn't offended by a lack of hype around his chances and suggested his experience at the club, both as a player and assistant coach, would be beneficial should he put his hand up for the role.

"It doesn't really bother me to be honest (not being mentioned publicly as Bennett's possible replacement) because what's happened at the Broncos, what they're trying to sort out with Wayne Bennett is a tough one for them," Walters said.

Kevin Walters with Wayne Bennett during his time at the Broncos.
Kevin Walters with Wayne Bennett during his time at the Broncos.

"Trying to get the next coach in there, obviously it's a big job for someone to come in post-Wayne Bennett but there's plenty of candidates out there I would have thought could get the job done.

"You'd like to think if given the opportunity you'd do a pretty good job yourself.

"I'd love the opportunity to coach at the Broncos.

"If you have got some insight into what's actually been happening at the place and what they're all about (that's beneficial).

"If you've got the inside knowledge on how the team performs and how the organisation works it's always a big benefit to both organisations and from a coaching point of view I think it's a huge asset to know what a club stands for and what it's all about before you get your feet under the desk."

While Bennett has asked for answers, Walters said the Broncos had been smart in putting any decisions off until the end of the season.

"What the Broncos are doing, putting the contract talks on hold until the end of the season, is very smart," Walters said.

"Certainly from Wayne's point of view he'd like to get something sorted sooner rather than later but knowing that he's already contracted for next anyway, that seems a long way off.

"I think they're better off getting the season done and dusted then sorting out what's going to happen in 2020."