Frontline contender goes cold on Titans job

Queensland State of Origin coach Kevin Walters has ruled himself out of the Titans job following the sacking of besieged Gold Coast mentor Garth Brennan.

Walters was considered the frontline candidate to rescue the Titans in the event that Brennan was terminated, but now, with the Gold Coast job vacant, the Maroons mentor insists he will not be applying for the post.

It is the second time in two years Walters has gone cold on the Titans job after his interest cooled in 2017 following the sacking of Brennan's Gold Coast predecessor Neil Henry.

"No, I'm not interested in the Titans job," Walters said.

"It's nothing against the club and it's a shame what's happened to Garth Brennan, but I'm very happy in my role with the Queensland Rugby League and there's more I want to achieve with the Maroons.

"I don't know where all the speculation has come from (linking him to the Titans post), it certainly wasn't started by me.

"I'm contracted with Queensland for another year and after the disappointment of this year (Queensland's 2-1 series loss to NSW in the Origin decider last Wednesday night), I want to keep taking the Maroons forward.

"I've overseen a lot of change with our program in the last four years, I've brought through a lot of new faces, and I love working with a great group of Queensland players led by Kalyn Ponga, Daly Cherry-Evans and Cameron Munster.

"I'm very happy with Queensland so that's my focus, not the Titans."

Walters turns 52 in October and the sacking of Brennan was regarded as a now-or-never moment for the Broncos legend to finally realise his long-held ambition of becoming an NRL head coach.

Walters has missed out on four possible NRL jobs in the past six years, including the Wests Tigers post in 2013 and North Queensland position 12 months later.

History shows very few coaches make their debut in the NRL beyond the age of 50, but Walters says he isn't as desperate to become a club coach as some would believe.

"I'd like to coach in the NRL one day, but I'm not going to chase any gig that comes along," he said.

"I'm very happy in my current role and if I don't become an NRL coach, that's fine.

"I've got other things in my life, I'm enjoying my media work with Fox Sports on top of my role with the Queensland Origin team, so I'm happy to bide my time and see which opportunities come up."

With Walters out of the running, the Titans must decide whether to chase an experienced coach or an NRL greenhorn.

Souths assistant Jason Demetriou and Ipswich co-coaches Ben and Shane Walker were interviewed two years ago by Titans bosses, only to lose out to Brennan.

Demetriou is being groomed to succeed Wayne Bennett at South Sydney, while the Walkers recently met with Titans culture chief Mal Meninga to discuss their philosophies on the game.

Sacked Panthers coach Anthony Griffin is one experienced option on the market, while Jim Dymock, Roosters assistant Adam O'Brien and St Helens mentor Justin Holbrook have also been mentioned.