The phone call NRL strugglers the Warriors need to make but won't

·Contributor
·3-min read
Warriors CEO Cameron George is on the lookout for a new coach after parting ways with Nathan Brown, effective immediately. Pic: Getty
Warriors CEO Cameron George is on the lookout for a new coach after parting ways with Nathan Brown, effective immediately. Pic: Getty

The last time the Warriors coaching position was up for grabs, CEO Cameron George was asked his thoughts on the Walker brothers, Shane and Ben.

"They bring a number of attributes to the game that are refreshing, innovative and certainly could enhance our individual players' talent," George told NRL.com in July 2020.

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"Everyone loves to see an exciting brand of footy and footballers play to their potential and from what I have seen the Walkers really focus on that.

"The brothers focus on having those key relationships in place and they have done it very hands-on in Ipswich in their role and they have had some success.

"It is not a huge departure from what any rugby league club is looking for."

But it was too huge a departure for the Warriors, who went the safety-first route and appointed the well-travelled Nathan Brown after Todd Payten knocked them back for the Cowboys.

Roll on two years and the Warriors job is again vacant after Brown decided he could not commit to basing himself in New Zealand once the club returns home after two and a half years on the road.

Again, the Walkers have been linked to the job despite not coaching together for a number of years.

Ben Walker hates the narrative behind the brothers' style, which brought great success to the Ipswich Jets in the middle of the last decade.

He doesn't see their approach as a 'gamble' or 'high risk' or an 'attack-at-all-costs' mentality.

Pictured left to right is Chris, Ben and Shane Walker with the trophy after the Ipswich Jets' victory in the 2015 state championship grand final.
Chris, Ben and Shane Walker pose with the trophy after the Ipswich Jets' victory in the 2015 state championship grand final. Pic: Getty

Walker brothers emerge as 'left field' coaching contenders

Just last week Andrew Johns described them as a 'left field' option for the Bulldogs.

It's another description they shy away from.

There's no 'method to their madness' because the brothers don’t see it as madness in the first place.

They emphasis time in possession and using the ball, but they don’t back away from some of the defensive structures needed to succeed.

They were employing short drop-outs, for example, years before NRL clubs cottoned on.

Play smarter for longer and don't get bogged down in stats.

Walker appeared weary and wary the last time this columnist spoke to him about the prospect of coaching in the NRL.

Weary about having to explain their methods again and wary about going public with another sales pitch, only to be knocked back.

They have continually been linked to NRL clubs since 2015, but it's gone nowhere.

There's a sense now of 'you know what we can do, ring if you're interested'.

Over to you, Cameron.

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