Rugby League

Savage backlash to shameful NRL snub

IT PAINS him to say it but Glenn Lazarus believes fellow Brisbane great Kevin Walters will be reluctant to apply for the Broncos coaching job again after missing out to Anthony Seibold.

South Sydney mentor Seibold is expected to be confirmed as Broncos coach for 2020 ahead of candidates Walters and Jason Demetriou at Tuesday night’s Brisbane board meeting.

Former Brisbane prop Lazarus believes it doesn’t mark Walters’ last chance to coach his beloved Broncos and hopes one day his good mate realises his dream. But Lazarus fears the former Broncos premiership-winning captain may not apply again for the top job at Red Hill after being sensationally snubbed.

“He would be disenchanted with the whole process,” Lazarus told AAP. “Wayne (Bennett) has never endorsed him.

“Ex-Broncos players at large have said Kevvie is the man for the job but no one seemed to listen in the Broncos hierarchy.

“Anthony appears to have all the right credentials but the Broncos have had someone sitting in their own backyard in Kevin and haven’t really given him the time of day which is very disappointing.”

Lazarus couldn’t understand why the Broncos seemed determined to sign Seibold once they missed out on Melbourne mentor Craig Bellamy in June, overlooking Brisbane favourite son Walters.

The Queensland coach isn’t able to get a gig with his former club.Source:AAP

“My frustration over all this is why Kevin Walters has never been mentioned (as coach) — he lost a lot of blood, sweat and tears for this club,” he said. “He’s been mentored by the best, he has had coaching success. I think he would be ideal for the Broncos but it seemed once they missed out on Craig Bellamy they were going for Anthony Seibold.”

Lazarus said Walters would have been the man to inspire Brisbane after they “made up the numbers” in the 2018 finals.

The Broncos finished sixth on the ladder but suffered a shock opening elimination finals loss to St George Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium.

“I hope it is not (Walters’ last chance to coach Broncos) because I think he would help,” Lazarus said.

“Because Brisbane were very lucky to get into the eight this year. If Canberra or Wests Tigers didn’t stumble, Brisbane were going to be very close to missing the eight.

“I know Kevin has the Broncos’ DNA in him. I thought he would be a far better option.”

Lazarus had previously said Walters was a victim of “politics”

“The thing that bewilders me the most about the Broncos is … Kevin Walters, I thought, was the right choice, a perfect fit,” he told Macquarie Sports Radio. “But when you’ve got politics involved and coaches having bad relationships with a CEO … the only way they could appease everybody was if South Sydney got a quality coach in Bennett and the Broncos get Anthony Seibold, who they rate very highly.”

Bennett’s time at Red Hill is coming to an end.Source:AAP

Lazarus isn’t the only former Broncos star to criticise the situation at Red Hill. Brisbane great Chris Johns slammed Paul White’s handling of the NRL club’s coaching transition, saying the Broncos CEO should be “marched” if new mentor Seibold is not a success.

Two-time Broncos premiership winner Johns was gobsmacked that Brisbane had overlooked Walters and replaced South Sydney-bound Bennett with an “unproven coach”, saying White should go if the move was not successful.

Seibold is set to link with Brisbane from 2020 after steering South Sydney to the 2018 NRL preliminary final and earning Dally M Coach of the Year honours in his rookie season.

“Seibold is an unproven coach. South Sydney were one of the favourites to win the premiership and they choked but everyone is walking around saying he is the (Broncos’) heir apparent,” Johns told AAP.

“Look at Kev’s record. Everywhere he has coached he has had success.

“I can’t believe the decision they have made. If we don’t get success in the next few years Paul White should be the one marched.”

Johns was angry that Walters was not only brushed for the top job but also accused the Broncos of being disrespectful to their former premiership-winning skipper during the coaching interview process.

Johns even accused Brisbane of making up their mind about signing Seibold months ago.

Walters may never get another chance to take charge of the Broncos.Source:News Corp Australia

“They have used him up. They have put a sham of a process together to put someone who is pre-ordained to go in there,” Johns said of Walters. “Three committee members flew straight to Sydney to talk to Seibold then when they came back and went through the process with Kev, (director) Darren Lockyer wasn’t even going to go to the interview.

“That’s how much importance they put into that interview.

“Kev is the perfect fit. So what is the agenda? Why is Seibold ahead of Kev?”

Johns said Seibold and seven-time premiership winner Bennett should swap ahead of the 2019 season otherwise the next year would be a “circus”.

“You’ve now got the South Sydney coach thinking about what is going to happen with the Broncos and vice-versa, it’s absolute idiocy,” Johns said. “(South Sydney football manager) Shane Richardson is no dummy, he grabbed Bennett and said,‘Wow I have one of the greatest coaches of all time charting the club’s future.’

“The Broncos threw that away for reasons I don’t know.”

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