Everyone in rugby league seems to already be talking about how Kevin Walters is going to fix the Broncos but they may be getting ahead of themselves.
Club legend and Queensland Origin mentor Walters is considered the frontrunner to take over at Red Hill in 2021 after Anthony Seibold parted ways with Brisbane less than two years into a monster five-year deal.
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Walters was desperate for the gig when Wayne Bennett left on ugly terms at the end of 2018, but Broncos powerbrokers opted for Seibold after he guided the Rabbitohs to within one game of the grand final in his debut season as an NRL coach.
Walters has the backing of the Broncos old boys and would be a hugely popular choice to take the reins next season. However, the vocal support from past players may be doing more harm than good, according to Daily Telegraph reporter Paul Kent.
Speaking on NRL 360 last night, Kent said there’s a possibility Brisbane will be so intent not to bow to the demands of former stars, it will dig its heels in and opt for a different option to prove it can’t be bullied into making decisions based on outside noise.
Paul Green, who was axed as Cowboys coach this season, is the other contender to replace Seibold, and comes with an impressive resume that includes guiding North Queensland to the 2015 premiership.
“I actually think that the Broncos old boys who have come out so fiercely in support of Kevin Walters have actually caused him some damage as far as seeking the job,” Kent said.
“There’s a bit of kickback from within the club, they’re clearly irked by the likes of ex-players coming out and so heavily supporting Kevvie that they’re being dictated to by the old boys.
“Part of the pushback is that they’re not going to be dictated to by the old boys, therefore Kevvie is not a lay down misere for the job and that Paul Green is firming.
“Whether that comes to fruition, that can all change. I just think that’s where the mentality is at.”
Former Broncos skipper Gorden Tallis has been one such Brisbane old boy throwing stones at his former club over its original snub of Walters.
“Kevvie Walters should have been given the opportunity to fail, not be told that he’s not good enough,” Tallis said in June.
“He shook hands with (CEO) Paul White, and there was a backflip.
“I feel sorry for the players because they don’t get support from the old boys, and I’m one of them, and it’s because of what’s happening above them.”
Departing Broncos veteran Darius Boyd has already given Walters his backing to take over from Seibold, while Brisbane legend Steve Renouf is another who’s pushed his former teammate’s case.
There was speculation on the weekend Bennett might return to Brisbane in a coaching director capacity after leaving South Sydney but the scars left from his messy exit in 2018 are so deep that would seem like a longshot.
NRL reporter Phil Rothfield told NRL 360 the odds of that happening are “a million to one”, revealing instead the Broncos are chasing Cowboys football director Peter Parr to lift them up from rock bottom.
“I think we all know that apart from a new chief executive, they are going to restructure their football department. The guy I hear they want to lead that is Peter Parr from the Cowboys,” Rothfield said.
“Peter Parr is so highly thought of in the game that Freddie (Brad) Fittler brought him all the way down from Townsville to run the NSW Origin campaign as his manager and to look after the younger (players).
“I think it’d be a great appointment.”