Kevin Walters' Broncos swing the axe over late season NRL collapse

·4-min read
Brisbane Broncos coach Kevin Walters is pictured here talking to reporters after an NRL game.
The shake-up under coach Kevin Walters has already begun after the Brisbane Broncos' late season collapse in the NRL. Pic: Getty

Brisbane's disastrous end to the NRL season has claimed its first victims, with two key figures departing the Broncos.

The club's attacking coach Terry Matterson has paid the price a horror late-season collapse that saw the Broncos drop from fourth spot on the NRL ladder to out of finals contention, in the space of six weeks.

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Brisbane announced on Friday that Matterson, who won premierships with the Broncos in 1992 and 1993, had been relieved of his duties effective immediately.

Following Matterson out the door is coach Kevin Walters' brother Steve, who resigned from his role as the club's football administration manager - citing personal and business reasons.

Former Brisbane Broncos attack coach Terry Matterson is seen here at a training session.
Brisbane will have a new attack coach in 2023 after parting ways with club legend Terry Matterson. Pic: Broncos

Kevin Walters is set to be joined by former Warrington playmaker and current Wigan assistant coach Lee Briers, who will be a development coach at Brisbane and assist the club's emerging halves and spine players.

Broncos captain Adam Reynolds has a masterful kicking game but could do with some assistance around him, with Briers viewed as the right man to bring about the necessary change.

He will be taken with helping fine-tune the skills of Ezra Mam, Tesi Niu, Cory Paix and recruits Reece Walsh and Jock Madden.

Brisbane's head coach says Briers' knowledge and experience will be invaluable for his young playmakers in 2023.

"Lee will be good for their attacking skills and everything from their short kicking, long kicking, passing and running game. He had all the bases covered as a player and he will as a coach," Kevin Walters told AAP.

"We have Adam here as a good mentor but Lee will bring a fresh set of eyes, ears and ideas into the place from outside and has a really strong coaching background from academy teams right through to assistant coaching in the Super League.

"He was a very smart player for Warrington with good skills. He had it all, from his goal kicking and kicking game to his general play.

"Lee will come in as a development coach and will be also looking after the newer players that come across from the (Broncos) academy."

Brisbane Broncos pay respects to departing duo

Kevin Walters said his brother and Matterson had "worked tirelessly in their roles over recent years" and thanked them for their significant contribution to the Broncos.

He said Matterson had brought "a wealth of experience and knowledge to his role" and paid tribute to Steve's work as a football manager over the past 20 years with Australia, Queensland and the Broncos.

Pictured left to right is Brisbane Broncos coach Kevin Walters and brother Steve.
Head coach Kevin Walters' brother Steve (right) has resigned from his role as football administration manager at the Broncos. Pic: Getty

Broncos CEO Dave Donaghy said the club's end-of-season review was now complete and while the club was disappointed with the last month of the season they still had made "great strides and our goal is to continue on that path in 2023".

Kevin Walters, current Broncos assistant coach Allan Langer and former Wales international Briers played together at Warrington in the Super League in 2001.

In 425 games for the Warrington Wolves in a career spanning 25 years, Briers scored a club-record 2584 points and won three Challenge Cups.

On retiring the former half joined the Wolves coaching staff where he progressed to assistant coach, before joining Wigan as assistant to Matt Peet this season, helping guide them to second on the Super League ladder after a disappointing 2021.

Walters' stint at Warrington was short but Langer and Briers were halves partners for two seasons.

John Cartwright, Matt Ballin and Langer will remain on board as assistant coaches next year.

Walters said he was looking forward to working with 22-year-old half Madden, whom the Broncos have secured from Wests Tigers on a two-year deal.

with AAP

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