Bundy duo is in Walter's long-term Maroons Origin plans
LEAGUE: Queensland Maroons coach Kevin Walters says this year's loss in State of Origin has challenged him more to turn the result around.
Walters was in Bundaberg yesterday as Auswide Bank was announced as the major sponsor of the team and Queensland Rugby League for the next three years.
The deal also sees the Bundaberg bank become the naming rights sponsor of the under-18 competition, the Mal Meninga Cup.
The competition is now called the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup for next year.
Walter said while he's forgotten about most of this year's series the plan has started to bring the shield back.
"No doubt we've got to do things a bit better and we'll be doing that next year,” he said.
"I'm looking forward to next year's series now obviously and we've already done planning and doing some work on how to combat the Blues.
"With Auswide Bank in support of us it is only going to make that easier.”
Walters is also relying on two Bundy boys, Coen Hess and Felise Kaufusi, to bring back the shield.
Both played in all three Origins and impressed, according to Walters.
"Bundaberg has been a big supporter of Origin and a supplier of players over the years,” he said.
"Those two are great examples and I certainly see a long future with those two players.
"Coen has come along in the last couple of years and Felise played for his country before Queensland but we've seen what he can do with the Storm and also for the Maroons this year, he was fantastic for us.”
Walters said both just need to keep going in the direction they went this year.
This includes Hess who was described by some as having a tough season in both representative football and for the North Queensland Cowboys.
Walters disagreed with the view.
"I don't think he had a tough season (this year),” he said.
"He showed us (in game three) what he can actually do on the big stage and we're really excited for what he can bring.”
Walters said young players like Hess would be the catalyst for change to the team and bringing them forward to a new era. One that will hopefully see the Maroons repeat their recent dominance that saw them win 11 out of 12 series before this year.
"Bringing in some younger players this year into the sqaud, we saw what they can do and are very excited by what they can do,” Walters said.
"It's all about developing those relationships with those players and improving them.”