Queensland great Wally Lewis maintains the Maroons’ winning culture was not at risk despite clear divisions about who should take over as the state’s rugby league coach.
The QRL’s decision to reportedly overlook Kevin Walters for the Maroons coaching position has created dissent in the ranks of the Queensland greats.
Allan Langer, Steve Renouf and Gary Belcher have all endorsed their former teammate be given the nod ahead of North Queensland mentor Paul Green.
While the “Emperor of Lang Park” was reluctant to wade into the controversy over who should succeed Mal Meninga, he said suggestions the Maroons were a divided camp were exaggerated.
“No matter who they put in that position they’re going to feel pretty comfortable,” Lewis said at the Jack Newton Classic in the Hunter Valley on Monday.
He said Queensland’s tight-knit squad would not be divided and the saga would roll off the back of the champion side.
“A lot of the Queenslanders are probably of the opinion `who cares? Give us one of them. We’re happy with either’.”
Lewis said while he would be surprised to see Queensland not install a fulltime coach – giving weight to Walters’ candidacy – he believed both were worthy of stepping into Meninga’s shoes.
He predicted the QRL hierarchy would be willing to allow Green to split his time between the Maroons and his day-to-day job at the Cowboys because of his track record of success.
“Everything he touches turns to gold,” Lewis said.
“Back-to-back Queensland Cup premierships. He goes to Sydney (Roosters), takes the under 20s right through to the top. He gets the assistant job and they win a first grade premiership for the first time in yonks.
“He goes to North Queensland and in his second year they win their inaugural NRL premiership. There’s something about him.”
Publicly the QRL maintains it has yet offer the position to anyone and has no specific timetable for the appointment.