Brisbane Broncos player Billy Walters.
Brisbane's Billy Walters is looking forward to taking NRL to the American public. Image by Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS
  • rugby league

Walters pumped for NFL great Tom Brady’s Broncos visit

Joel Gould January 10, 2024

Brisbane hooker Billy Walters will pick Tom Brady’s brain about the secrets to sustained success when the NFL legend meets one-on-one with the Broncos squad.

Hearing from the seven-time Super Bowl winner later this month will be a perfect lead-in to the Broncos trip to the United States, where they will play the Sydney Roosters at Allegiant Stadium – home of the Las Vegas Raiders – on March 3.

Walters went on a 10-day trip to the US in December to help promote the NRL double-header that will also feature South Sydney taking on Manly in Las Vegas.

The 29-year-old toured Allegiant Stadium, attended NFL games hosted by the Raiders and the LA Rams, and toured the Rams’ training facility where the Broncos will be based after flying out on February 22.

He also got to meet four-time Super Bowl-winning tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Brady is primed to tour Australia for a series of speaking events in the coming weeks and the former champion quarterback will provide the Broncos players with rare insights.

“I’ll be a sponge to soak in his wisdom,” Walters said.

“He knows how to win. I’ll try to get into his brain about what he did to help him win and how he set himself up for success. 

“It’s exciting, I got to meet ‘Gronk’ when I was over in America. To meet Brady now … they’re probably the (only) two NFL players I actually know.

“Hopefully Tom can support the Broncos when we’re over there, and even come watch the game.”

NFL legend Tom Brady.
 NFL legend Tom Brady will impart some winning wisdom to the Broncos during his Australia trip. Image by AP PHOTO 

Walters said the American public embraced the game of rugby league during his promotional trip and he expects the NRL double-header to further fan engagement.

“The Americans, if they are open to it, will love our game,” he said.

“I went to a couple of NFL games and it kind of drags on a bit. 

“NRL is very exciting and very skilful and very fast. I am assuming they are going to love that aspect about it.  

“Hopefully they turn out a big crowd and we put on a good game.”

Walters had a career-best season in 2023 but the Broncos fell agonisingly short in the grand final in a 26-24 loss to Penrith after leading by 16 points.

The players reviewed the game for the first time last week and Walters said it was a harsh learning curve, but also one that put fire in his belly ahead of the new campaign.

“Our handling errors; there were too many of them in the first half and it felt like we stopped playing the footy we wanted to play when we got in front,” he said.

“You can’t take too much away from Penrith. They were really good on the night and Nathan Cleary had an outstanding game.

“But it just shows that we can be there and match it with the best of them. We will definitely get it done next time we get back there.”