QRL boss warns Kevvie to curb his costs
QRL chairman Bruce Hatcher has urged Queensland coach Kevin Walters to watch his pennies amid fears that the Maroons could be blowing their Origin budget.
Hatcher told The Courier-Mail that he and the QRL board had no idea Walters had hired the services of a self-appointed "coach whisperer", who charges clients $5500 an hour for his personal mentoring skills.
Maroons mentalist Bradley Charles Stubbs has been working with Walters in a bid to give the Queensland coach a winning edge. As part of his methodology, Stubbs urges coaches not to refer to the opposition - prompting Walters to gag his players from talking about the Blues.
As part of Walters' employment package with the QRL, the Maroons coach has scope in the budget for professional development. Last year, Walters visited the set-ups of the All Blacks and Ireland to explore tactical and professional advancement for the Maroons.
But the hiring of Stubbs, who works with Roosters' Trent Robinson and formerly Michael Maguire at Souths in their 2014 premiership year, is a left-field tactic that could backfire on the Maroons.
Hatcher said the QRL is fully supportive of Walters as Maroons coach but is conscious of prudent spending.
"I can hand-on-heart say I knew nothing about this coach whisperer," Hatcher said. "I am astounded a bloke thinks he's so good he can charge $5500 an hour. That's f...ing crazy.
"Kevvie gets a budget and the QRL is very strong on complying with that budget. I would be amazed if Kevvie has spent that amout of money for an hour.
"Fancy charging $5000 an hour for advice that may or may not work. I wouldn't know surgeons who charge that and they save lives.
Hatcher said he had no knowledge Walters was working with Stubbs until he read yesterday's story in The Courier-Mail.
"I've always had the view that football is a basic game made more complicated by the people who play it and coach it," he said. "I've never heard of that bloke, but he's the coach whisperer. What are his qualifications?"
Hatcher was also surprised Walters had banned his players from talking about the Blues.
"If top level sport is about not mentioning the opposition as a trick, it doesn't have much going for it in my view," he said