SPLATTERED in mud and with a welcoming smile on his face, Kerrod Walters was in his element chatting to fans and signing autographs.
Looking fit and comfortable in his Ipswich surroundings, it was as if the former international hooker was still playing for the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL.
But while Saturday night’s game was considerably less intense than battles of the past, Walters enjoyed pulling on the Broncos strip again to help Ipswich junior rugby league clubs affected by the floods.
“It was a bit of fun,” Walters said, still sounding fresh after running around in the rainy conditions.
“It was 18-all. We were willing to play golden point but (referee) Dave Manson got a bit tired so he blew the whistle.”
Sadly for fans, Kerrod was unable to link with famous “Ipswich connection” partners, twin brother Kevin and Allan Langer, on Saturday night.
Kevin is coaching in Melbourne and Alfie had a sore neck.
However, Broncos Allstars representative Kerrod enjoyed playing against other family members, including his brothers Steve and Andrew.
“They both enjoyed it,” Kerrod said.
“Box (Kerrod’s older brother Steve) said mum (Sandra) asked him to play so he pulled the boots out.
“Box looked quite sharp at dummy half. The old competitor was still there.”
Kerrod, 43, played 223 NRL games for the Broncos and Adelaide Rams. He represented Queensland in seven matches from 1989-94 and Australia in eight internationals (1989-92).
Hooking rival Steve, now 45, played in 272 NRL games, represented Queensland 17 times and Australia on 18 occasions.
Kerrod also played in last month’s NRL’s disaster fundraiser at Parramatta.
“We couldn’t believe the crowd. It was like playing in another game of NRL,” he said.
He left North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday happy to have joined in another massive fundraising effort.
“This is my home town, I grew up here and love the town,” Walters said. “To help the junior footy clubs is amazing.”