Queensland coach Kevin Walters has dismissed rumours he will leave his post and take over the Gold Coast's NRL reins after losing State of Origin series.
It didn't take long for Kevin Walters to end speculation that he would leave his Queensland post after a shattering State of Origin series loss.
In fact it took just five words for Walters to pour cold water on rumours he would be lost to the NRL in 2020 by boldly claiming: "I'll be back next year".
The Maroons' heartbreaking 26-20 game three loss in Sydney on Wednesday night loomed as Walters' swansong.
Walters had been tipped to take over the Gold Coast Titans reins from an under pressure Garth Brennan, ensuring he had to hand in his Queensland contract which does not expire until the end of 2020.
There were even reports former Maroons mentor Wayne Bennett was ready to take over from Walters as soon as next year.
However, Walters dismissed the speculation as he tried to get his head around NSW's stunning Origin III victory which sealed their first back to back series since 2005.
Asked if it was his last game as Maroons mentor, Walters said: "No mate. I'll be back next year. Have you been talking to someone?
"No, I'm a really proud Queenslander tonight.
"I'll be back next year. And I am really proud of these guys."
When pressed if he was interested in the Titans gig, Walters said: "No. I don't want to talk about that now.
"I want to talk about this great Queensland team and how proud I am of them."
Walters sounded like a man with unfinished business with the Maroons outfit, claiming he was excited to groom Queensland's next generation.
"When I first got the job four years ago I knew there was going to be a changing of the guard," he said.
"It was something I was actually really excited about. I've had a lot to do with some of these boys coming through now in under-age teams and the like."
Walters was convinced the Maroons were on track as they launched a new era following the representative retirements of the men who inspired their decade of dominance - Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Greg Inglis and Billy Slater.
"We made some good progress this year. If you look back from the last couple of years with the changing of the guard, I thought we made some small steps last year but some even bigger ones this year," he said.
"And I'll be part of that next year with the Maroons moving forward."
Walters became the first Queensland coach to lose back to back Origin series since Michael Hagan in 2004-05 and just the fourth overall.
Still, Walters was happy Queensland had put pride back in the jersey with a fighting game three display following their 38-6 Origin II thumping in Perth.
"It was a great game of footy. I'm sure everyone enjoyed the game regardless of which state you come from," he said.
"Hats off to NSW. They won the game, they won the series.
"We've got to accept that as well and be humble in defeat."