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3 hours ago | Tim Costello
Kevin Walters has stood down from his role as Brisbane Broncos' assistant coach to focus solely on coaching the Queensland State of Origin team.
Walters met with Broncos CEO Paul White and Coach Wayne Bennett this morning to advise them of his decision, saying it was based on his own concerns over perceptions of impartiality in Queensland selections created by his role at the Broncos.
"Yesterday I attended the launch of the State of Origin Series in Melbourne and the level of interest at the media conference reinforced how privileged I am to be coach of a Maroons team which means so much to the people of Queensland," said Walters.
"It also reinforced Origin's immense standing in the game, and the importance of having a clear-minded approach to all aspects of the Queensland team's preparations.
"I felt that my direct link to the Broncos may influence the perception of my impartiality and as result of these factors I have made the decision to step away from the club to focus solely on the State of Origin campaign.
"I wish everyone involved with the Broncos every success for the remainder of the 2018 season."
Broncos Coach Wayne Bennett said he respected Walters' decision and his honesty in making the Broncos' aware of his position as soon as possible.
"I know personally the amount of work it takes to be a successful coach at Origin level and I can understand why Kevin has come to this decision," said Bennett.
"It takes a huge commitment to coach Queensland and while we have really valued Kevin's input this year as an assistant coach, we wish him all the best."
Brisbane Broncos CEO Paul White said the commitments that came with Walters' dual roles as Broncos assistant coach and Queensland coach was always going to be a balancing act.
"Given Kevin's attitude to his work, giving his total effort, it was always going to be a stretch doing both jobs but we were committed to giving it a go," said White.
"He has done a really good job over the past six months and it has been great to have him back but now the season has commenced and Origin time has arrived, Kevin has made a tough decision. We understand and respect Kevin's honesty in coming to us and being up front with his decision.
"The Queensland Rugby League are his principal employer and we wish him all the best as Queensland coach and in the future."