The Queensland Rugby League have appointed Kevin Walters as Queensland Maroons coach through to the end of 2018.
One of Queensland’s favourite rugby league sons, Walters will have the responsibility of leading the Maroons into an exciting new era following Mal Meninga’s elevation to the national role.
QRL Chairman Peter Betros said the Board unanimously agreed to offer the position to Walters after meeting with him before Christmas.
“This is a fantastic appointment for Kevin, the current Maroons Origin team and the game of rugby league in Queensland,” Betros said.
“Kevin’s passion for Queensland, his intimate understanding of the current Origin set-up and his extensive coaching experience at many levels of the game are all key factors that place him in a great position to guide the Maroons over the next three years.”
Walters said he was thrilled to be given the opportunity.
“Coaching Queensland is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Walters said.
“It’s truly an honour to be in a position to coach such a fine group of players and to be entrusted with the responsibility of developing future Origin talent through our programs.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead, starting with the QAS Emerging Origin camps in the New Year.”
In recent years, Walters has been heavily involved in the QRL’s High Performance programs.
As the coach of the Queensland Under 20s team in 2012 and 2014, Walters played a pivotal role in the rise of some outstanding talent, including Anthony Milford, Cameron Munster and Luke Bateman.
A former Broncos and Maroons five-eighth, Walters launched his coaching career in style by guiding the Toowoomba Clydesdales to the 2001 Queensland Cup premiership.
He led the Ipswich Jets to the 2008 grand final before taking up the head coaching position with the Catalans Dragons, the club he took to within one win of an English Super League grand final.
Walters carries extensive NRL experience into the Maroons’ top job, having worked with the Brisbane Broncos and Melbourne Storm.
He has been an assistant coach with Meninga’s record-breaking Maroons throughout four State of Origin series.
QRL Managing Director Robert Moore congratulated Walters on his appointment.
“As we prepare to move into a new Origin period, Kevin has demonstrated to us that he understands our needs for the future,” Moore said.
“He takes the role with a long-term view towards the development of future Origin players.”