Broncos utility Billy Walters has laid out his strategy for securing a starting spot in 2023 as the former five-eighth transitions further into a full-time number nine role.

Walters featured in all but one of Brisbane's games last season with 13 starts at dummy half. However, even he admitted via AAP that his position in the ruck was far from guaranteed next season, with Cory Paix and young gun Blake Mozer also at the club.

NRL Rd 1 - Broncos v Rabbitohs
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 11: Billy Walters of the Broncos runs with the ball during the round one NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium, on March 11, 2022, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

"It is always good to have competition for the number nine jersey. We all know no one has got their hands on that yet," Walters said.

"I need to be more of a threat out of nine.

"The best nines in the game like Harry Grant, Damien Cook and Api Koroisau they all run and have good deception around the ruck."

The Broncos' stable of hookers may have lost Paix, Mozer and Tyson Smoothy in the squad, coach Kevin Walters still has options to consider to round out his spine.

Apart from imitating some of the game's other premier nines, there was another key component in Walters' bid for a starting spot.

"I need to start doing that a little bit more and work on my combinations with the forwards. I didn't get to do a pre-season with them last year. I did a whole pre-season in the halves so that is a big asset this year," Walters continued.

Gelling with the likes of Adam Reynolds and Ezra Mam, who have already returned to pre-season, is also an important aspect of Walters's plan.

"We didn't really lock down a spine last season and I think everyone else around Reyno' needs to support him a lot better ... so we can be firing round one," Walters said.

The 28-year-old has also been working with former Queensland nine and multiple-time Manly premiership winner, Matt Ballin who joined Brisbane's coaching staff in late 2021.


  1. Paix is the answer; short term & long term. Kevin Walters just needs to bit the bullet & give him sufficient time to establish himself. He is a better defender, better passer & better runner. When Paix played a lot of minutes this season, the Broncos dominated games & won. When he played short time or didn’t play they lost.

  2. It often seems to be the case that a player playing for a side coached by his father will be criticised by fans, who claim that he is only in the team because of his old man. (Think of Kyle Flanagan when he was at the Sharks).

    There is a lot of truth in that. If Billy Walters want to be accepted by fans as a decent player in his own right, he needs to leave the Broncos and find another club. If he won’t back himself and move on, then he puts Kevin under pressure because, as Sports Nut says, on the evidence of last season, Paix should be the first choice 9

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