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QRL boss: Walters coaching Broncos and Maroons a joint decision

Whether Kevin Walters can still coach the Maroons if he is appointed Broncos coach will be a mutual decision by both the QRL and Brisbane officials.

That is the view of QRL managing director Rob Moore with the start of the State of Origin series just seven weeks away.

The NRL announced on Tuesday the fixtures and dates for the three men’s games, with the series kicking off in Adelaide on November 4. The women’s State of Origin clash will take place on November 13 at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

The Maroons are planning to have Walters on board for the series but how the Broncos coaching scene pans out, with both Walters and Paul Green in the frame, will play a major role.  

Broncos board member Darren Lockyer told the clubs intends to have a new coach in place by mid-October and there is a chance that could be earlier. 

The Maroons are set to go into their Origin bubble possibly as early as October 19 so if Walters was appointed he would be in that bubble until the conclusion of the Origin series on November 18, and possibly in further quarantine for a fortnight after that under the restrictions that now exist.

The Broncos pre-season starts around the same time.

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Moore said that the Broncos would have a major say in whether Walters could do both jobs in what has been an unprecedented 2020 season.

"The view on that would be primarily by his primary employer more so than us in some respects," Moore said.

"I think that is a question that would have to be asked of both at the time if it comes up.

"We are working on the basis that Kev will be there at the moment. There is a lot of speculation around that but Kev is working as though he will be coaching the team through this series, and the next series."

While club coaches in the past have coached Origin series at the same time, Moore said he thought it would be "difficult for a new coach at a new club".

If Walters does get the Broncos job and is unavailable to coach the Maroons then QRL chairman Bruce Hatcher has a preferred contingency of bringing back Wayne Bennett to coach the side.

Bennett, who is open to taking on the role,  was last at the helm of the Maroons in 2003 and has coached Queensland 22 times and for five series wins.

"There is no doubt that Wayne can do it," Moore said.

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"It is a matter of who is available at the time, but at the moment it is all speculation."

After round 20 of the NRL the players selected in an extended Maroons squad, which at this stage is likely to be 35 to 40 players, will have time off when they finish their club commitments and will do their own training before entering the camp bubble.

That squad will likely be trimmed down to a final number of 27 that then goes into Maroons camp.

"I wouldn’t say they are rolling bubbles but there will be work to do with individual players depending on when they finish their season,” Moore said.

"October 19 is the date that has been proposes currently [as the start of the camp bubble] but we haven’t confirmed that yet."

Moore said the Maroons camp was unlikely to be in Brisbane city as it has been previously due to the quarantine situation, with the QRL investigating options on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast where they have held camps in the past.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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