Broncos defeat Souths, Kevin Walters selection, Billy Walters to partner Adam Reynolds, Paul Vautin says


Rugby league great Paul Vautin says he doesn’t want Broncos coach Kevin Walters to shy away from handing his son the starting gig in the halves alongside Adam Reynolds.

The Broncos tonight enjoyed a shock 11-4 upset against last year’s grand finalists South Sydney.

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The Broncos coach’s son, Billy Walters, started at five-eighth alongside fellow halves contender Albert Kelly, who was starting at halfback in place of Adam Reynolds who was out due to a recent battle with COVID-19.

The pair tonight both held their own, with Kelly even putting his name on the scoresheet with a stunning 90-metre intercept try.

But Vautin said he was most impressed with Walters, namely in defence before urging the Broncos coach not to hesitate to pick his own son to start alongside Reynolds.

“He (Walters) was terrific tonight,” Vautin said on Nine’s broadcast after the match. “He showed some good touches early, threatened the defence and then he defended really well.

“I would go with Billy at five-eighth [to partner with Adam Reynolds]. I was so impressed.

“Whether he gets in or not, it’s a hard decision for Kevvie because he’s always going to have that, ‘oh well I’m only picking my son’.

“But his son is up to it.”

Albert Kelly runs the length to score for the Broncos

Fellow Queensland rugby league great Johnathan Thurston said Walters could find a spot for Kelly off the interchange bench.

“You could maybe play Albert Kelly as a No.14,” Thurston said.

“He did that in the NRL All Stars game where he was really strong through that middle of the field. It’s a good [selection] headache for Kevvie to have.”

However, Walters’ son could also be the right man for that No.14 jersey according to Andrew Johns.

“They need that player coming off the bench,” Johns replied.

“The dummy-half, he works his backside off. They need someone to come out of dummy-half with that zip. Billy Walters has the build.

“It’s always special when you see a father and son represent the club.”

The Broncos coach said his son’s performance tonight shut down any suggestions over his place in the side.

“I’m not sure who was questioning [his selection], but I certainly wasn’t, and the team certainly wasn’t,” the coach said.

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“I was really happy for him tonight – I knew that performance was in him, but knowing and also actually doing it is two different things, and it was great for Bill.

“He’s not a kid anymore either, he’s 28 years of age so you’d expect that from him.

“He ran the ball well, not too many kicks, and tackled well, which is what we need our halves to do.”

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