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Kevin David Walters (born 20 October 1967 in Rockhampton, Queensland) 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
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. He
later coached in the Queensland Cup competition with the Ipswich Jets club
before being recruited by Catalans.
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
then followed his brother Steve to the Canberra Raiders of the New South Wales Rugby League Premiership in
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
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.
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
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. 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. 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.
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.
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. Walters
then became head coach of the Ipswich Jets playing in the Queensland Cup
before attracting the attention of Europe's Super League.
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.
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.
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
Walters' book, Brave Hearts was published in 1999. He
has since then remarried to Narelle Bristow and they have two
- ^ a
Mitchell Dale. "Legend Q&A".
League Week (Sydney, NSW: PBLMedia) (16 April 2008): pgs
Harms, John (2005). The Pearl: Steve Renouf's
Story. Australia: University of Queensland
Press. pp. 195. ISBN 0702235369,
Whitiker, Alan - History of Rugby League Clubs Published 2004
Book - Whiticker, Alan - The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players
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
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
"Catalans move to appoint
Walters". BBC. 2008-05-21. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_league/7413030.stm. Retrieved
- ^ "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
"Kim Walters Choices
Program". uhc.com.au. Wesley Hospital. 2002. http://www.uhc.com.au/choices/. Retrieved