Fans back Kevvie as next Broncos coach
KEVIN Walters is the man to succeed Wayne Bennett as coach of the Brisbane Broncos.
That is the view of Queensland rugby league fans, who threw their overwhelming support behind Walters to eventually replace Bennett at the Broncos.
As revealed by The Courier-Mail, Cowboys coach Paul Green has been sounded out by the Broncos as Brisbane bosses begin ramping up their succession plan for life after Bennett.
But in our online poll, the Queensland public believe Walters is the man for the Broncos' coaching hot seat, with 63 per cent of voters backing the Maroons Origin coach.
Just 14 per cent of respondents opted for Green, while 11 per cent pushed for Storm super coach Craig Bellamy. Current Brisbane assistant coach Jason Demetriou and Broncos legend Darren Lockyer received six per cent of votes.
The torrent of support for Walters underlines his popularity with the Queensland public and is a compelling snapshot for Broncos bosses as they explore options for the post-Bennett era.
Walters, who turned 50 last October, has returned to the Broncos this season as Bennett's right-hand man. Many view it as irresistible evidence that Bennett is finally grooming Walters for the top job, 13 years after the master coach first sacked him as his assistant at Red Hill.
After two successful campaigns with the Maroons, Walters is determined to stay in touch with NRL coaching methods. He is happy with the Maroons, but admits he has a long-term goal to take charge of the Broncos club with whom he won five premierships as a player.
"I would love to coach the Broncos," Walters recently told The Courier-Mail.
"I see myself as an NRL head coach one day, but I probably have more patience now than I did a few years ago.
"Whatever happens with NRL coaching, I have no expectations. I want to get in and do a good job for the Broncos and Queensland and if I keep doing a good job, that will look after itself.
"I believe I am not past it age wise as an NRL coach. I feel I have the right amount of skills to succeed in the NRL, but until I actually get an opportunity and test myself at that level, we will never know.
"But I am comfortable with what I can bring to an organisation. If an opportunity did come up at the Broncos, I'm confident I can take it and do well."
Broncos tryscoring legend Steve Renouf is adamant Walters is tailor-made to replace Bennett, who is off-contract at the end of 2019.
"Kevvie knows football and the players respect him," Renouf said.
"He has the runs on the board with his success in the Origin arena, he has two winning series under his belt."