Steve Walters

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Steve Walters
Personal information
Full name Steven Walters
Nickname Boxhead[1]
Born (1965-08-28) 28 August 1965 (age 49)
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
Playing information
Height 176 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Position Hooker
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
Booval Swifts
198?–8? Norths (Brisbane)
1986–96 Canberra Raiders 228 41 0 0 164
1997–98 Nth. Qld. Cowboys 37 6 0 0 24
1999 Newcastle Knights 7 2 0 0 8
Total 272 49 0 0 196
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1990–96 Queensland 14 1 0 0 4
1991–94 Australia 15 4 0 0 16
1997 Queensland (SL) 3 0 0 0 0
1997 Australia (SL) 3 1 0 0 4
Source: RLP, Yesterday's Hero, QRL.com.au

Steve Walters (born (1965-08-28) 28 August 1965 (age 49) in Ipswich, Queensland) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s and '90s who at the peak of his career was considered the best hooker in the game. An Australian Kangaroos and Queensland Maroons representative, he played in the Canberra Raiders' 1st, 2nd and 3rd grand final victories. Steve is the eldest of the three Walters brothers, but was the last of them to gain Australian Test selection honours.

Playing career[edit]

After playing in the Ipswich Rugby League for the Booval Swifts club where his brothers Kevin and Kerrod also played, Walters joined the Brisbane Rugby League premiership and played for the Norths Devils club. He then moved to play in the New South Wales Rugby League premiership for the Canberra Raiders and achieved back-to-back grand final wins in 1989 and 1990. In the 1989 post season he travelled with the Raiders to England for the 1989 World Club Challenge, playing at hooker in the loss to Widnes.

Test selection came belatedly to Walters in the 1991 Trans-Tasman Test series. But this was at the expense of his brother Kerrod who lost his representative position due to being suspended. Steve Walters out-pointed New South Wales captain Ben Elias on the scores of consistency and reliability in the open and was one of Australia's best players in the series win against the Kiwis. He was also named man-of-the-match in the second game of the 1991 State of Origin series. Despite Canberra's loss in that year's grand final, Walters was named the Raiders' player of the year and also earned a place on the Australian Tour of Papua New Guinea, but did not play a match as he was injured at training.

During the 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand, Walters helped Australia retain The Ashes. The Walters brothers had already become the first trio to play for Queensland and Australia when, that year, they achieved another milestone when all three were selected to tour with the winning World Cup squad. In 1993 Walters was named as Rugby League Week's player of the year.

Canberra's win in the 1994 grand final, and Walters' performances for Queensland and Australia, confirmed his reputation as the best dummy-half runner in the world. Despite the good form of Ben Elias in New South Wales' State of Origin wins in 1993–94, Walters retained his place on the 1994 Kangaroo tour and produced a man-of-the-match effort in the deciding Test of the Ashes series.

After a decade with the Raiders, Walters joined former coach Tim Sheens at the North Queensland Cowboys but despite representing Queensland and Australia during 1997's Super League competition, his two seasons at Townsville were hampered by a career-threatening back injury.

In the 1997 post season, Walters was selected to play for Australia at hooker in all three matches of the Super League Test series against Great Britain.

Retirement[edit]

At first contemplating retirement after the Cowboys baulked at extending his contract, Walters signed with the Newcastle Knights in 1999 but was forced to retire midway through the season due to a recurring knee injury.

In 2000 Steve was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in the sport of rugby league. In February 2008, Walters was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (1908–2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia.[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Buckley, James (21 July 2010). "'Boxhead' stands by old mate 'Sticky'". The Canberra Times (Fairfax Media). p. Australia. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Peter Cassidy (31 December 2011). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Centenary of Rugby League – The Players". NRL & ARL. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 

External links[edit]