Kevin Walters

Walters: Defense Key In Race For No.6 Jersey

One of the big talking points in the lead-up to the blockbuster Round 1 clash with the Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, March 11, is which Bronco out of Tyson Gamble, Albert Kelly, Billy Walters and Ezra Mam will fill the five-eighth role.

All four are worthy candidates and today Walters revealed the most important criteria coaching staff are looking at when it comes to finalising the halves partnership.

Back me or sack me: Kevvie’s ultimatum after frank admission on Broncos’ dark times

The Broncos currently sit second-last on the ladder and showed little improvement earlier in the season but appear to have turned a corner in the past month.

The challenge for Walters though will be to now maintain those results on a more consistent basis, with reports Broncos bosses will make a call on his future next year in April.

Walters though is entirely committed to the task and urging the Broncos to give him long-term security to work with the reshaped roster he has started to put together.

Proud Walters knows youngsters moving in right direction

Walters conceded the Broncos were battered and bruised after their 21-20 loss to the Roosters defeat and will benefit from a nine-day turnaround that is now underway.

The Broncos looked set to cause one of the upsets of the season late until a 79th-minute penalty goal by Adam Keighran handed the Roosters a frantic win.

"We're all disappointed but that's the way it all sort of rolled," Walters said.

"It's pretty tough for them but I thought we had our chances as well to win the game.

Walters ready for Origin 'war'

Walters named his team on Monday, including Daly Cherry-Evans - still recovering from ankle surgery - alongside three debutants for the June 5 opener in Brisbane.

Despite the presence of new names on the team sheet, the coach is determined that the Maroons will be ready to beat the Blues, expressing his confidence ahead of the game at Suncorp Stadium.

"I'm ready, we are ready. This is war," Walters said. "This Queensland team is going to be so well prepared for this match.

Lockyer: Walters decision will boost Maroons

Walters is a selector as well as a coach of the Maroons side and said in a statement that the "perception of my impartiality" was one of the reasons why he decided to remove himself from a club role.

Walters attended the launch of the 2018 Holden State of Origin Series in Melbourne on Tuesday where he said: "the level of interest at the media conference reinforced how privileged I am to be the head coach of a Maroons team which means so much to the people of Queensland."

'Humble' Maroons lash Blues walk-off

Speaking after the last-gasp 18-14 loss in a series they had already wrapped up after two games, skipper Cameron Smith was tight-lipped about Blues players not hanging around for the end of the formalities to do a lap of the ground thanking fans.

In a response to outgoing Blues captain Paul Gallen's labelling of Queenslanders earlier in the week as poor winners, Smith added that he felt the Maroons playing group has been humble right throughout its 11 years of Origin dominance.

Cam Smith 'the greatest ever leader'

Smith had another outstanding night in the Maroon, collecting his sixth Origin man of the match award and in the process closing within two of Queensland legend Wally Lewis's record of eight. 

The Australian hooker guided the Maroons to their 10th Origin series win in 11 years on Wednesday night, with Smith celebrating his fourth series win in five years as captain of the side. 

It's just another accolade to Smith's name in what is becoming one of rugby league's most decorated careers. 

The man the Maroons fear most

At every opportunity during his 11-minute interview Walters spoke glowingly of the Blues' No.1 and the threat he poses to the Maroons' bid to wrap up the 2016 Holden State of Origin Series at a sold-out Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

Despite showing a vulnerability under the high ball at club level and coming up with what could have been a calamitous fumble in the in-goal in Game One, Moylan is the man the Maroons have singled out as key to the NSW attack in what both coaches are predicting will be a more open style of game than was witnessed in Game One.

Walters starts his coaching career with a win

Having played 20 Origins for the Maroons, Walters knows a thing or two about what it means to represent the sunshine state, as well as the impact the team's success has on the greater community. 

In his role as coach, Walters has heard it all from criticism about his ageing squad to the difficulties associated with playing in Sydney, but watched on with pride as his champion team etched another win on their rapidly-growing tally. 

"I'm just so happy for this group of players," a very proud Maroons coach said after the game. 

Queensland's Cooper Cronk will decide his own fitness hours out from series opener

Cronk surprised onlookers on Tuesday when he ran out with the Maroons' squad for their only training session at Sydney's Olympic stadium ahead of the State of Origin opener.

While he is not certain Cronk would be fit to play, Walters remains confident the half-back would make the cut - but the final call will be left to the man himself.

"I will let Cooper make the call. He is big enough to work out whether he can get through 80 minutes of Origin," Walters said.

"He's quietly confident he can play. But tomorrow, we have to make a decision," he said.