Walters confirms he's staying with Maroons

05 September 2017 21:27:23 GMTPlus11

Kevin Walters has pledged to continue as Queensland coach, after ruling himself out of taking over at Gold Coast Titans.

The Titans sacked Neil Henry two weeks ago and Walters was immediately linked with the vacancy.

Queensland have been worried about the prospect of losing the man who has led them to State of Origin series wins in both his first two years in the role.

Walters, who succeeded Mal Meninga ahead of the 2016 series, is still under contract with the Maroons until the end of next year.

The Queensland Rugby League are now expected to sign him to a new extended contract after he became just the second coach in their history to win his first two series at the helm.

When asked about the Titans job, Walters said: "No, I am still happy with what I am doing here. That would be an excellent opportunity for someone but just right now I am sticking with the QRL.

"It's been a great challenge for us so we will continue along that pathway."

Meninga had urged Walters to stay with the Maroons, saying there was no standout candidate to replace him.

Gold Coast hope to name Henry's replacement by the end of next month, with interim co-coaches Craig Hodges and Terry Matterson likely to be in the mix.

Canterbury mentor Des Hasler and Manly great Geoff Toovey have also been linked to the club.

Meanwhile, Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans says he's delighted to be back in the finals after the Sea Eagles beat Penrith to secure a top-eight finish.

The club missed out on September football in the past two years, but having returned they feel confident of success.

"We've won two really good games on the trot now so we'll be taking confidence into the finals," said Cherry-Evans. "It is an expectation at Manly that you play finals football every year so to reward the club and the fans with a pretty good season, it's great to be back and it's exciting for the club."

Manly areĀ 1.60 to beat Penrith, who are 2.40.

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