Brisbane Broncos coach Kevin Walters has spoken publicly in response to comments made by Selwyn Cobbo on a podcast, admitting that the comments hurt when they came to light. He also insisted that he and the star winger had since made amends.
Cobbo was prompted for his thoughts on Walters' coaching abilities during an appearance on the ‘Back of the 135' Podcast, and the 20-year-old admitted that while he thought Walters was a good person, he didn't think he was a particularly good coach, calling his style 'a bit weird'.
With the podcast released in November, 2022, the comments appear to have been made at a similar time to earlier criticisms from former Broncos half Tyson Gamble, who also voiced his thoughts on a podcast – and questions are now once again emerging regarding Walters' grip on the dressing room.
“Certainly it did (hurt),” Walters told Channel 9 regarding Cobbo's comments.
“It was disappointing from that regard.
“We spoke about it and had a good chat. I won't say father-son, but along those lines.
“Knowing Selwyn as I do and as we do here at the club, I thought it was a little bit out of line. It's not normally in his character to be like that.
“He rang me pretty early in the morning not long after it all surfaced and was very apologetic.”
While some corners of the media have leapt upon the comments for the first ‘coach under fire' narrative of the year – especially after the club's late-season collapse in 2022 and Walters' contract situation – the Broncos mentor is unphased. Walters believes that such issues are part and parcel of being an NRL coach, especially in the modern era.
“Even the great Wayne Bennett has got his critics, so I'm no different,” Walters said.
“But I'm a bit believer in what we're doing here and how we're going about it. We'll stay on the path and it's great that Selwyn is on that path as well.
“We've all learnt from it, certainly myself and also Selwyn. We'll get on with things and look forward to building a great future here with Selwyn and the Broncos.”