Walters won’t change Qld on field

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters insists he will adopt that theory on the field this year after making sweeping changes off it ahead of his debut State of Origin series.

Walters has been quick to put his own stamp on the Maroons by ditching support staff that predecessor Mal Meninga used to win nine of the last 10 Origin series.

Former national shot-put champion Chris Gaviglio is Walters’ strength and conditioning coach, Manly assistant Anthony Seibold will be his deputy with team doctor Matthew Hislop and physio Robert Godbolt also on board.

But Walters said he did not plan to use any new faces on the field in the series opener in Sydney on June 1.

The Queensland side may be ageing – eight of the starting side in Origin I last year were on the wrong side of 30.

But Walters said he would not dare tinker with the winning formula established under Meninga.

“There won’t be any changes unless they are forced through injuries or suspension,” he said of his team.

“They have been such a good group over the last 10 years they deserve every opportunity to continue playing for their state.”

Walters said he would consult senior members such as captain Cameron Smith, halfback Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater but did not expect their brand of footy to change any time soon either.

“I have to talk to Cameron, Cooper and Billy first,” he said.

“I don’t think you will see too much different to what has happened in the past.

“We have some great attacking players there in the Queensland side.

“Obviously we will be trying to exploit their talents as best we can.

“The best way to do that is to let them take ownership of this team on how they want to play the game which Mal has done previously.

“I will be doing no different to what has been happening the last 10 years.”

Walters was not concerned with depth despite being forced to ban eight players from Origin for 12 months for breaking curfew at a recent Emerging Maroons camp.

“Our player pool is not as strong as NSW but there is still lots of good talent out there available,” he said.

Meanwhile, Meninga also didn’t expect to see a new-look Maroons on-field this year despite the bans.

“We have plenty of depth in Queensland and given the form of the team in Game III the team won’t change too much anyway,” he said, referring to their record 52-6 Origin III win.

“It (bans) doesn’t affect them (Queensland) at all – I think they made the right decision.”

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