Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Broncos head coach Kevin Walters had a tough decision to make over the offseason when he was tasked with deciding who would partner the club’s marquee signing Adam Reynolds in the halves this year.
The situation was made all the more difficult for Walters recently when Brisbane confirmed that Reynolds had tested positive for COVID and would not be available for the Broncos round one clash with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Albert Kelly and Tyson Gamble seemed to be the two main contenders to play alongside Reynolds in the first place, so many expected them to start together in the halves for Friday’s game.
However, only one of them has been selected in Brisbane’s starting side as Albert Kelly will partner Billy Walters in round one.
Kevin Walters’ decision to start son Billy over prospect Ezra Mam and Gamble has come as a surprise to some following Mam’s impressive form in the trials and Gamble’s prominence within the Broncos team last season.
The former Queensland State of Origin coach has spoken about opting to go with Billy to start the season when being interviewed on 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio.
Finally, our Round 1 Team List is here.
Presented by @ladbrokescomau
— Brisbane Broncos (@brisbanebroncos) March 8, 2022
“I’m really excited for Bill, he’s been around a bit with his footy down at Melbourne and then at the Tigers and got some serious injuries there at the Tigers with his knee, but he’s back in Brisbane and he’s always wanted to play for the Broncos,” said Walters.
“We just need Bill to go out there and play the football I know he’s capable of.
“We’ve got a lot of faith in Billy, especially his defence.
“As long as he gets his defence right he’ll have his work cut out for him on that left-hand side for the Broncs.”
During the interview Walters also discussed where Adam Reynolds is currently at, revealing that while he is technically eligible to play on Friday according to COVID protocols the former New South Wales halfback will sit the game out as a precautionary measure.
Reynolds is set to make his Broncos debut in round two when they face the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.
This gives Billy Walters one game to prove the doubters wrong and find himself partnering Reynolds in two Sundays time.