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Kevin Walters

Kevin Walters

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Kevin David Walters is an Australian professional rugby league
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

 football coach and former player. He is currently the assistant coach for NRL club Melbourne Storm. He joined them from French club Catalans Dragons
Catalans Dragons
The Catalans Dragons are a French professional rugby league club based in Perpignan, Pyrénées-Orientales. They currently play in the Super League, and are the only team in the competition from outside of the United Kingdom...

 of Europe's Super League
Super League
Super League is the top-level professional rugby league football club competition in Europe. As a result of sponsorship from engage Mutual Assurance the competition is currently officially known as the engage Super League. The League features fourteen teams: thirteen from England and one from...

 as their head coach. Before that he was head coach of the Ipswich Jets
Ipswich Jets
The Ipswich Jets are an Australian rugby league football club based in Ipswich, Queensland.Their name comes from nearby RAAF Base Amberley, one of the largest airbases in Australia. The Jets compete in the Queensland Cup competition...

 in the Queensland Cup
Queensland Cup
The Queensland Cup is the premier rugby league football competition in the State of Queensland, Australia.It is a statewide competition with the majority of teams based in South East Queensland but also including sides based in Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton.The competition began in 1996 as a...

. Walters is also a former Australian Kangaroos and Queensland Maroons representative player and premiership-winning captain of the Brisbane Broncos
Brisbane Broncos
The Brisbane Broncos are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the city of Brisbane, the capital of the state of Queensland. Founded in 1988, the Broncos play in Australasia's elite competition, the National Rugby League premiership. They have won six premierships and two...

.

Along with twin Kerrod
Kerrod Walters
Kerrod Walters is an Australian former rugby league footballer of the 1980s and 90s. A Queensland State of Origin and Australian international representative hooker, he played most of his club football with the Brisbane Broncos, with whom he won the 1992 and 1993 NSWRL Premierships...

 and older brother Steve
Steve Walters
Steve Walters is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s and 90s, who at the peak of his career, was considered the best hooker in the game. An Australian Kangaroos and Queensland Maroons representative, he played in the Canberra Raiders' 1st, 2nd and 3rd grand final...

, Kevin Walters started his career in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership before joining the NSWRL. He spent some time playing for the Canberra Raiders
Canberra Raiders
The Canberra Raiders are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the national capital city of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. They have competed in Australasia's elite rugby league competition, the National Rugby League premiership since 1982...

 before moving to the Brisbane Broncos
Brisbane Broncos
The Brisbane Broncos are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the city of Brisbane, the capital of the state of Queensland. Founded in 1988, the Broncos play in Australasia's elite competition, the National Rugby League premiership. They have won six premierships and two...

, 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
Queensland Cup
The Queensland Cup is the premier rugby league football competition in the State of Queensland, Australia.It is a statewide competition with the majority of teams based in South East Queensland but also including sides based in Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton.The competition began in 1996 as a...

 competition with the Ipswich Jets
Ipswich Jets
The Ipswich Jets are an Australian rugby league football club based in Ipswich, Queensland.Their name comes from nearby RAAF Base Amberley, one of the largest airbases in Australia. The Jets compete in the Queensland Cup competition...

 club before being recruited by Catalans.

Early years


Walters grew up playing football alongside future Brisbane Broncos (and Queensland) team mate Allan Langer
Allan Langer
Allan "Alfie" Langer AM is an Australian former multi-award-winning rugby league footballer of the 1980s, 90s and 2000s who works as an assistant coach for the Australian national team and Brisbane Broncos...

 and brothers Steve
Steve Walters
Steve Walters is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s and 90s, who at the peak of his career, was considered the best hooker in the game. An Australian Kangaroos and Queensland Maroons representative, he played in the Canberra Raiders' 1st, 2nd and 3rd grand final...

 and Kerrod Walters
Kerrod Walters
Kerrod Walters is an Australian former rugby league footballer of the 1980s and 90s. A Queensland State of Origin and Australian international representative hooker, he played most of his club football with the Brisbane Broncos, with whom he won the 1992 and 1993 NSWRL Premierships...

. This combination of players was known famously as "The Ipswich
Ipswich, Queensland
Ipswich is a city in South-East Queensland, Australia. Situated along the Bremer River Valley approximately 40 kilometres away from the state's capital Brisbane. The suburb by the same name forms the city's Central Business District and administrative centre...

 Connection". Kevin played in the Brisbane Rugby League Premiership with the Norths
Norths Devils
The Northern Suburbs Devils, Norths for short, are a rugby league club representing the northern suburbs of Brisbane, Australia. The team colours are sky blue, navy blue and gold. They play in the Queensland Wizard Cup, and, through their predecessors, are one of the oldest clubs in...

 club, then followed his brother Steve to the Canberra Raiders
Canberra Raiders
The Canberra Raiders are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the national capital city of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. They have competed in Australasia's elite rugby league competition, the National Rugby League premiership since 1982...

 of the New South Wales Rugby League Premiership
New South Wales Rugby League premiership
The New South Wales Rugby League premiership was the first rugby league football club competition established in Australia. Run by the New South Wales Rugby League from 1908 until 1994, the premiership was the state's and later the country's elite rugby league competition...

 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
Rugby League State of Origin
State of Origin is an annual best of three series of rugby league football matches contested by the Maroons and the Blues, who represent the Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales respectively...

 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
Brisbane Broncos 1990
The 1990 Brisbane Broncos season was the third in the club's history. They competed in the NSWRL's 1990 Winfield Cup premiership and again improved on their previous year, finishing the regular season in second position before going on to come within one match of the grand final, losing to eventual...

, Wally Lewis
Wally Lewis
Walter James "Wally" Lewis AM is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer and coach. Currently a commentator of the sport, he is widely regarded as the greatest rugby league player of all time...

 was the Broncos' first choice for the five-eighth position, but coach Wayne Bennett
Wayne Bennett (rugby league coach)
Wayne James Bennett AM is an Australian professional rugby league football coach and former player. He is the current head coach for the Newcastle Knights of the NRL...

 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
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

. Kerrod and Kevin Walters held the distinction of being the only twin brothers to play rugby league for Australia until the feat was matched by the Morris twins in 2009.

During the 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand, Walters helped Australia retain The Ashes. Later that year he 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
Rugby League World Cup
The Rugby League World Cup is an international rugby league competition contested by members of the Rugby League International Federation . It has been held nearly once every 4 years on average since its inaugural tournament in France in 1954...

 squad. In England Kevin Walters threw the winning pass for Steve Renouf
Steve Renouf
Stephen Renouf is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s, 90s and 2000s. Of Aboriginal and European descent, he was known as one of the sport's greatest centres. Renouf set numerous records for the Brisbane Broncos club and is considered one of the greatest...

's try that won the game 10–6 in Australia's 1992 World Cup
Rugby League World Cup
The Rugby League World Cup is an international rugby league competition contested by members of the Rugby League International Federation . It has been held nearly once every 4 years on average since its inaugural tournament in France in 1954...

 final victory. Indeed, 1992 was a great year for Walters, with further victory in the World Club Challenge
World Club Challenge
The World Club Challenge is an annual rugby league football match held between the champions of the Australasian National Rugby League and the European Super League competitions to determine the world's best rugby league club...

 against Wigan
Wigan Warriors
Wigan Warriors is an English rugby league club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester. The club's first team squad competes in the engage Super League and the team are the current Challenge Cup holders as of the 27th August 2011....

.

The following year Walters again proved a great utility for the Broncos' 1993 grand final victory.

During the 1994 NSWRL season, Walters played at five-eighth for defending premiers Brisbane when they hosted British champions Wigan
Wigan Warriors
Wigan Warriors is an English rugby league club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester. The club's first team squad competes in the engage Super League and the team are the current Challenge Cup holders as of the 27th August 2011....

 for the 1994 World Club Challenge
1994 World Club Challenge
The 1994 MMI World Club Challenge was a replay of the 1992 World Club Challenge, with 1993–94 Rugby Football League season champions Wigan facing the 1993 NSWRL season premiers, the Brisbane Broncos, this time in Australia. Wigan were clearly the dominant club in the English game, having won the...

. At the end of the season, he went on the 1994 Kangaroo tour
1994 Kangaroo Tour
The 1994 Kangaroo Tour was the last played in the conventional format, where the Australian side plays a number of matches against British and French clubs or provincial outfits, in additions to the Test matches...

.

Walters 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 played at five-eighth in the 1998 NRL grand final
1998 NRL grand final
The 1998 NRL grand final was the conclusive and premiership-deciding game of the 1998 NRL season. It was the first grand final since the National Rugby League's formation and featured minor premiers and the previous year's Super League premiers, the Brisbane Broncos against the Canterbury Bulldogs,...

 and 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
Australian Sports Medal
The Australian Sports Medal was an award given during 2000 to recognise achievements in Australian sport.Recipients of the award included competitors, coaches, sports scientists, office holders, and people who maintained sporting facilities and services. Over 18,000 Medals were...

 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
Allan Langer
Allan "Alfie" Langer AM is an Australian former multi-award-winning rugby league footballer of the 1980s, 90s and 2000s who works as an assistant coach for the Australian national team and Brisbane Broncos...

. He played for Warrington
Warrington Wolves
Warrington Wolves are a professional rugby league football club based in Warrington, England that competes in Super League. They play at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, having moved there from Wilderspool in 2003....

 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
Brisbane Broncos 2001
The 2001 Brisbane Broncos season was the fourteenth in the club's history. They competed in the NRL's 2001 Telstra Premiership and finished the regular season in fifth position, going on to play in the finals and coming within one match of the grand final....

.

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.

Coaching career


Walters went on to coach the Toowoomba Clydesdales
Toowoomba Clydesdales
The Toowoomba Clydesdales are a rugby league football club based in Toowoomba, Queensland, named after the Scottish horse breed. They played in the Queensland Wizard Cup since the competition began in 1996 but no longer play in this competition....

 in the Queensland Cup
Queensland Cup
The Queensland Cup is the premier rugby league football competition in the State of Queensland, Australia.It is a statewide competition with the majority of teams based in South East Queensland but also including sides based in Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton.The competition began in 1996 as a...

 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
Gary Belcher
Gary Belcher is an Australian rugby league football commentator and former player of the 1980s and '90s. An Australian international and Queensland State of Origin representative goal-kicking fullback, he played club football in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership for Souths and in the NSWRL...

 and Glenn Lazarus
Glenn Lazarus
Glenn Patrick Lazarus is an Australian former rugby league footballer of the 1980s and 90s who has been named amongst the nation's finest of the 20th century. He primarily played at prop forward, representing Australia internationally and New South Wales in State of Origin...

. Walters then became head coach of the Ipswich Jets
Ipswich Jets
The Ipswich Jets are an Australian rugby league football club based in Ipswich, Queensland.Their name comes from nearby RAAF Base Amberley, one of the largest airbases in Australia. The Jets compete in the Queensland Cup competition...

 playing in the Queensland Cup
Queensland Cup
The Queensland Cup is the premier rugby league football competition in the State of Queensland, Australia.It is a statewide competition with the majority of teams based in South East Queensland but also including sides based in Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton.The competition began in 1996 as a...

 before attracting the attention of Europe's Super League
Super League
Super League is the top-level professional rugby league football club competition in Europe. As a result of sponsorship from engage Mutual Assurance the competition is currently officially known as the engage Super League. The League features fourteen teams: thirteen from England and one from...

.

Catalans Dragons


Walters was appointed as the new coach of Catalans Dragons
Catalans Dragons
The Catalans Dragons are a French professional rugby league club based in Perpignan, Pyrénées-Orientales. They currently play in the Super League, and are the only team in the competition from outside of the United Kingdom...

 from the 2009 season. He had been linked with the role of Head Coach at the French Super League
Super League
Super League is the top-level professional rugby league football club competition in Europe. As a result of sponsorship from engage Mutual Assurance the competition is currently officially known as the engage Super League. The League features fourteen teams: thirteen from England and one from...

 team for some time. His first season at Catalans
Catalans Dragons 2009
2009 marks nine years since UTC was founded, and the 4th year of the Catalans Dragons in Super League. They also competed for the 2009 Challenge Cup.-Transfers:Transfers for 2009 Transfers for 2009 -2009 squad:-Fixtures and results:...

 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
2009 Super League Grand Final
The 2009 Super League Grand Final was held on Saturday 10 October 2009, at Old Trafford, Manchester, UK. The match was contested by defending champions and 2009 League Leaders Leeds Rhinos, and the team they had faced in the grand final for the past two years, St Helens.The 2009 decider, contested...

, losing to eventual Champions, Leeds Rhinos
Leeds Rhinos
Leeds Rhinos is an English professional rugby league football club based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. The club won the 2011 Super League and became the most successful club in the Super League era, beating St Helens 32-16 on 8th October 2011. Formed in 1890, Leeds competes in Europe's Super League...

.

After the 2010 season, Walters returned to Australia as assistant coach to Craig Bellamy at NRL club Melbourne Storm
Melbourne Storm
The Melbourne Storm are an Australian professional rugby league club based in the city of Melbourne. They are the first fully professional rugby league team based in the Australian rules football-dominated state of Victoria....

.

Life outside football



Kevin Walters married Kim and they had three sons, Jack, Billy and Jett. In 1996 Walters' wife, Kim, was diagnosed with breast cancer
Breast cancer
Breast cancer is cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas; those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas...

. 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
Wesley Hospital (Brisbane)
The Wesley Hospital is a hospital located in the suburb of Auchenflower in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.The hospital currently has over 530 beds and offers a large range of clinical services.It is owned and operated by UnitingCare Health...

 in Brisbane.

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

External links