Kevin Walters is firming as the new Titans coach.
Kevin Walters is firming as the new Titans coach.

Walters firms for Titans gig as decision nears

The Titans will unveil their new coach next week with Wayne Bennett and Broncos legend Chris Johns declaring Maroons mentor Kevin Walters is capable of rebuilding the struggling Gold Coast.

The Courier-Mail can reveal Gold Coast hierarchy are in the final stages of appointing Garth Brennan's successor with the Titans expected to make a formal announcement on Monday or Tuesday.

Titans culture-and-performance chief Mal Meninga has drawn up a select hit-list which contains St Helens coach Justin Holbrook, who has been formally interviewed in recent days.

 

Kevin Walters is firming as the new Titans coach. Picture: Dan Himbrechts
Kevin Walters is firming as the new Titans coach. Picture: Dan Himbrechts

Despite speculation on Thursday night Holbrook had withdrawn from the race, the Saints mentor remains interested in succeeding Brennan and is awaiting a final answer from the Titans.

Ipswich co-coaches Ben and Shane Walker are unlikely to get the nod, with Holbrook, Sydney Roosters' Craig Fitzgibbon and former Broncos and Penrith coach Anthony Griffin among the frontline contenders.

But there is a concerted push for Walters to spearhead Gold Coast's resurrection.

Walters has consistently maintained he will not apply for the Titans position, leaving Gold Coast powerbrokers to decide whether they will headhunt the Queensland Origin coach as their No.1 target.

 

Saint Helens coach Justin Holbrook remains in the hunt for the role. Picture: Richard Sellers
Saint Helens coach Justin Holbrook remains in the hunt for the role. Picture: Richard Sellers

 

Walters served three stints at Brisbane as an assistant to Bennett, helping the Broncos to the 2015 grand final.

Bennett, who lobbied for Walters to coach the Maroons, believes the 51-year-old can bring success to the Titans but says he should not have to go through the interview process that saw him miss out on the Broncos job last year.

"Kevvie would do a good job," Bennett said.

"There's a couple of coaches who would do a good job at the Titans, but if I was Kevin, I wouldn't go through an interview process.

 

Wayne Bennett has backed Walters for the role. Picture: Michael Chambers
Wayne Bennett has backed Walters for the role. Picture: Michael Chambers

 

"I won't tell the Titans what kind of coach they need, that's their choice, but what I will say is you don't need a series of interviews again. They did that last time.

"As a coach, I don't believe in interview processes. The Titans should just identify who they want and get him.

"I've never done an interview in my life. The Broncos and Dragons both knew what they wanted, they decided they wanted me and they made it happen.

"I didn't do an interview to come to South Sydney. The good clubs know what they want, they tell the board who they are getting and they get the job done.

"What Kevin offers is four years coaching Origin and he has won premierships as a player.

 

 

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"If Kevvie is the best man for the job in their eyes, forget the interviews and just go and get him."

Former Broncos centre and ex-Storm CEO Johns urged the Titans to sign Walters.

"They keep throwing up all these names but clearly Kevvie is the best person for the Titans job," he said.

"Kevvie is ready for the NRL. He is one of the most dynamic coaches in the game at the moment, he is passionate, he knows how to treat men and he knows how to get players to play for each other and for him.

"If the Titans want him, the onus should be on them to chase him. The days are gone where Kevvie has to apply for a job, he has proven himself with the Queensland team."