Walters back at Broncos as Bennett's assistant
THE QRL has given its blessing for an expected NRL return for Kevin Walters, who is set to resume his role as a Broncos assistant coach and continue leading the Maroons.
Wayne Bennett has officially declared Walters will be groomed to take over at Red Hill, putting to rest speculation that the master coach had fallen out with his former protege.
After The Courier-Mail revealed Walters would return to take up a role at the Broncos in 2018, the QRL followed with a statement, confirming he would not be stopped from holding dual roles.
In a statement released by the QRL on Monday morning, it was also confirmed that Walters had been extended as Maroons head coach through until 2020.
"First and foremost, we're absolutely thrilled to extend Kevin's contract as Maroons coach," QRL Chairman Bruce Hatcher said.
"He's done a wonderful job to win back-to-back series during an extremely challenging period.
"Kevin's great passion is coaching, and as such, we support his desire to return to the NRL as an assistant coach with the Broncos."
The QRL's quick response comes at a time when the NSWRL is dragging its heels after sacking Laurie Daley two months ago.
Last week it was confirmed that the appointment of Daley's replacement would still be another month away, with the four candidates vying for the job finally getting an opportunity to address the position criteria.
The QRL's quick action squashes the potential for speculation over Walters' future, with the coach free to pursue his ambition of eventually taking over from Bennett, whose contract expires in 2019.
Walters will join Jason Demetriou as Bennett's assistants, with the super coach telling The Courier-Mail that both were capable of eventually taking the reins.
"It will be good to have Kevin back," Bennett said. "He approached me recently about coming back.
"He feels that coaching three games a season with Queensland is not enough and he wanted to do some more hands-on coaching in an NRL system.
"Kevvie brought a lot to us the last time he was here. He knows the game really well, he has been a long-term coach and he is one of the club's great players.
"He brings a lot that way, all his confidence and beliefs. He has a lot of belief in himself and that rubs off on the players.
"He is good to have around the place, he makes the club enjoyable, he did it as a player with Allan Langer."
Asked if Walters can be Brisbane's next coach, Bennett was unequivocal.
"Absolutely," he said. "I'm not going to go on forever so can Kevin be the next coach of the Broncos? Certainly he can.
"Kevvie and Jason are in the mix."