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Kevin Walters
Personal information
Full name Kevin David Walters
Born 20 October 1967 (1967-10-20) (age 42)
Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
Playing information
Height 170cm
Weight 83kg
Position Five-eighth, Halfback
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1985–86 Norths Devils
1987–89 Canberra Raiders 46 9 0 0 36
1990–00 Brisbane Broncos 236 64 0 0 256
2001 Warrington Wolves 1
2001 Brisbane Broncos 5 1 0 0 4
Total 288 74 0 0 296
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1989–99 Queensland 20 3 0 0 12
1990–98 Australia 8 1 0 0 4
1997 Queensland (SL) 3 0 0 0 0
Coaching information
Club
Years Team Gms W D L W%
2009– Catalans Dragons
Source: [1]

Kevin David Walters (born 20 October 1967 in Rockhampton, Queensland[1]) is an Australian professional rugby league football coach and former player. He is the current head coach for French club Catalan Dragons of Europe's Super League, having joined them from Queensland Cup side the Ipswich Jets at the start of the 2009 season. Walters is a former Australian Kangaroos and Queensland Maroons representative, and Brisbane Broncos premiership-winning captain.

Along with twin Kerrod and older brother Steve, Kevin Walters started his career in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership before joining the NSWRL. He spent some time playing for the Canberra Raiders before moving to the Brisbane Broncos, where he played for the majority of his career and took over the club's captaincy. He has played in premiership-winning teams on six occasions and holds the record for most finals appearances.[1] He later coached in the Queensland Cup competition with the Ipswich Jets club before being recruited by Catalans.

Contents

Playing career

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Early years

Walters grew up playing football alongside future Brisbane Broncos (and Queensland) team mate Allan Langer and brothers Steve and Kerrod Walters. This combination of players was known famously as "The Ipswich Connection". Kevin played in the Brisbane Rugby League Premiership with the Norths club, then followed his brother Steve to the Canberra Raiders of the New South Wales Rugby League Premiership in 1987.

Canberra Raiders

In Canberra Walters was a reserve as a 19-year-old in the club's first grand final in 1987 which was lost to Manly-Warringah. That year he was named the Raiders' Rookie of the Year.

Walters made his State of Origin debut for the Queensland Maroons in 1989, as a reserve. Later that year he got his first taste of premiership success, playing from the bench in the 1989 Grand Final win for Canberra.

Brisbane Broncos

Walters returned to Queensland in 1990, signing with the Brisbane Broncos to play alongside his twin brother Kerrod once again. Up until 1990, Wally Lewis was the Broncos' first choice for the five-eighth position, but coach Wayne Bennett moved Lewis to lock and Walters to five-eighth. This was because of Walters' darting runs and deft passing. That year he won the Broncos' Player of the Year award. Walters also made selection for the 1990 Kangaroo tour of Britain and France with twin brother Kerrod, but did not get to play a test until the tour of Papua New Guinea. Kerrod and Kevin Walters hold the distinction of being the only twin brothers to play rugby league for Australia.

Walters helped the Broncos to victory in the 1992 Grand Final which Brisbane won 28-8 against the St George Dragons. The Walters brothers had already become the first trio to play for Queensland and Australia in 1992 and they achieved another milestone when all three were selected to tour with the World Cup squad. In England Kevin Walters threw the winning pass for Steve Renouf's try that won the game 10-6 in Australia's 1992 World Cup final victory. 1992 was a great year for Walters, with further victory in the World Club Challenge against Wigan.

The following year Walters again proved a great utility for the Broncos' 1993 grand final victory. He also played in the 1997 Super League Grand Final victory for Brisbane.

Although not a consistent player for the Maroons, Walters was part of the winning 1998 State of Origin team, dummying his way over for a try in the decider[2]. That year he won yet another premiership with the Broncos.

In 1999, with the retirement of Allan Langer, Walters was handed the Broncos' captaincy. He also captained Queensland in the second State of Origin match.

Walters was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in the sport of rugby league in 2000. After winning one more premiership with Brisbane, he moved to England at the end of 2000 at the request of Allan Langer[3]. He played for Warrington briefly and decided it was not for him and his family, so moved back to Australia, playing his final season with the Broncos in 2001[4].

During the 2007 season at the Broncos' 20-year anniversary celebration, the club announced a list of the 20 best players to play for them to date which included Walters.[5]

Coaching career

Walters went on to coach the Toowoomba Clydesdales in the Queensland Cup competition and was also assistant coach under Wayne Bennett for the Brisbane Broncos. At the end of the 2005 season, after five successive years without a grand final appearance, Bennett decided to have a cleanout of the coaching staff, removing such long-time allies as Walters, Gary Belcher and Glenn Lazarus.[6] Walters then became head coach of the Ipswich Jets playing in the Queensland Cup before attracting the attention of Europe's Super League.

Catalans Dragons

Walters was appointed as the new coach of Catalans Dragons from the 2009 season[7 ]. He had been linked with the role of Head Coach at the French Super League team for some time[8]. His first season at Catalans did not start well, with only one win from the club's first 6 matches. However by the end of his second season with the club, he'd taken them to within one match of the 2009 Super League Grand Final, losing to eventual Champions, Leeds Rhinos.

Life outside football

Brave Hearts Kevin Walters cover.jpg

Kevin Walters married Kim and they had three sons, Jack, Billy and Jett. In 1996 Walters' wife, Kim, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following her death in 1998, Kevin established the Kim Walters Choices program, a free community service that offers support to people diagnosed with cancer at the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane.[9]

Walters' book, Brave Hearts was published in 1999. He has since then remarried to Narelle Bristow and they have two chldren.

References

  1. ^ a b Mitchell Dale. "Legend Q&A". Rugby League Week (Sydney, NSW: PBLMedia) (16 April 2008): pgs 28–29.  
  2. ^ Harms, John (2005). The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story. Australia: University of Queensland Press. pp. 195. ISBN 0702235369, 9780702235368. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=OFE2EZ7JyEkC&source=gbs_navlinks_s.  
  3. ^ Whitiker, Alan - History of Rugby League Clubs Published 2004
  4. ^ Book - Whiticker, Alan - The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players (Broncos)
  5. ^ Dekroo, Karl (2007-05-09). "Still the king". The Courier-Mail (Australia: Queensland Newspapers). http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,21701434-10389,00.html. Retrieved 2009-12-08.  
  6. ^ Dick, Barry (2006-10-01). "Special day for Benny". The Courier-Mail (Queensland Newspapers). http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,20797,20509237-5003409,00.html. Retrieved 2009-12-17.  
  7. ^ "Catalans move to appoint Walters". BBC. 2008-05-21. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_league/7413030.stm. Retrieved 2008-05-21.  
  8. ^ "Walters may join Dragons". Sportinglife. 2008-05-14. http://www.sportinglife.com/rugbyleague/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=rleague/08/05/14/RUGBYL_Catalans.html. Retrieved 2008-05-15.  
  9. ^ "Kim Walters Choices Program". uhc.com.au. Wesley Hospital. 2002. http://www.uhc.com.au/choices/. Retrieved 2009-12-05.  

Further reading

External links


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