Brisbane Broncos coach Kevin Walters is facing a player revolt, a report claims.
Club legend Walters has copped serious criticism over his communication and man-management during a club review, The Courier Mail reports.
The Broncos have already sacked two key staffers, GM of football operations Peter Nolan and head of performance Andrew Croll, following a dismal 46-0 loss to South Sydney on Thursday.
Now, the heat is squarely on Walters, The Courier Mail reported.
Walters responded in the report, saying: “I’m up for the fight. Everyone is under review, including myself.”
Broncos chairman Karl Morris said that Walters was being backed by the club.
“I don’t want to talk about individuals in this (review), except to say Kevin Walters has the full support of the board,” Morris told The Courier Mail.
“Dave Donaghy is looking at how best to strengthen what Kevin needs around him.”
New club chief executive Donaghy, who came from the Melbourne Storm, was the man who sealed the fate of Nolan and Croll.
Potentially sacking Walters would be far harder, given his standing as a five-time premiership-winning player at the club.
Walters replaced the sacked Anthony Seibold for this season but he has the Broncos running last, in danger of repeating as wooden spooners.
Queensland great Johnathan Thurston said that he was “shocked” by the report of Walters losing his players’ faith.
“All the dealings that I’ve had with Kevvy have been great, obviously at Origin level,” Thurston told TODAY on Sunday.
“The players, from what I read, aren’t happy with the way that he’d been communicating to the playing group and to individuals. Obviously communication is an issue.
“It’s not a good start to his tenure. He is one of the club legends there. He’s got two experience coaches in Terry Matterson and John Cartwright as his assistants but it’s not good.
“They’ve got a new CEO as well, Dave Donaghy, so no doubt they’re putting the broom through the joint and they’re starting afresh. These bombshell reports are alarming for the Broncos.”
Thurston said that the Broncos’ roster upheaval was undoubtedly contributing to behind-the-scenes unrest.
“There’s been a lot of players told that they’re not required at the club next year,” he said.
“The players that are asked to be moved on, they’re probably not being as professional as they should be and that’s why that player unrest can evolve.”
Kevvie’s raw Broncos interview
The Broncos have a break thanks to the stand-along State of Origin weekend. In a raw interview after the Rabbitohs loss, Walters said that it was sorely needed.
“Just get away from footy. It’s been tough for everyone, the players, the coaching staff, everyone. It’s been a disaster really. When you see a great club like the Broncos in this position it’s pretty humbling, I can tell you,” he told Nine.
“We’re just leaking too many points. I thought our first 40 against Souths, who are a pretty good side, and we lost a couple of key players in those defensive positions…
“So, we were 18-0 at half-time, doesn’t sound great, but it was actually OK. Oh, not OK, but you know what I mean. I’m just digging a hole here, so I’ll let it go.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!