Walters to lean on senior Qld players

Big shoes may have been left behind by Mal Meninga but new Queensland coach Kevin Walters reckons his senior core of players will relieve the pressure.

In fact, a modest Walters claims he won’t have to do much at all thanks to the Maroons veterans.

Walters admitted he wouldn’t be reinventing the wheel after inheriting the reins from Meninga ahead of the State of Origin series opener in Sydney on June 1.

No wonder after Meninga set the blueprint for nine series wins in the last decade.

But Walters believed the Maroons dynasty had just as much to do with Queensland’s “once in a generation” players that are now suddenly at his disposal.

“Players don’t learn a whole lot from coaches to be honest,” he said.

“I know myself you learn more from the great players than the coaches.

“And what a great experience coming into this Maroons camp – we have once in a generation players.”

Not that Walters was belittling Meninga’s remarkable Origin impact.

“Mal’s record speaks for itself,” he said.

“We won’t be changing too much (thanks to him).”

Still, Walters could not wait to work alongside the likes of skipper Cameron Smith, playmaker Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk and Nate Myles.

Or savour their impact on teammates such as debutants Corey Oates and Justin O’Neill who will feature in a new-look Queensland backline.

“It’s very exciting for me I have got to say,” Walters said.

“Working with these guys is a great opportunity.

“It’s very comforting.

“I know a lot of this is because of the way Mal has set up the Origin team.

“Hopefully it will go smoothly and we can put together a good team performance on Wednesday week.”

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