Broncos coach Kevin Walters has hosed down claims the club is at war following reports of a pub altercation between his assistant, John Cartwright, and Broncos legend Chris Johns.
News of a disagreement emerged just a day before Brisbane went down 34-18 to the Cowboys on Saturday.
Johns, who won a premiership with Walters at the club in 1992-93 and chairs the Broncos Old Boys Club, confirmed he and Cartwright were involved in an incident late last year just weeks into Walters’ tenure at Red Hill.
Johns had a heated argument which turned into a physical wrestle with Cartwright at the Caxton Hotel according to News Corp.
Claims Cartwright grabbed Johns by the throat were vehemently denied by the Broncos assistant, who won a premiership with the Panthers as a player in 1991.
Johns revealed Cartwright took exception to comments he made after the ex-Penrith back-rower spoke glowingly about the Panthers’ golden years.
“I said (to Cartwright), ‘At the Panthers you have won one comp, don’t compare the Broncos (who have won six premierships) with the Panthers’.
“Carty got the s–ts and said, ‘Don’t start bagging my old club’.
After accepting the Broncos job Walters described the Broncos as a “fractured” club last season. When asked about the incident between Cartwright and Johns, the new coach denied knowing anything about it and backed Cartwright.
“I don’t know anything about that,” said Walters.
“To my knowledge there wasn’t an incident.”
When told that Johns had confirmed an incident took place Walters said:”Well if it did happen, I wasn’t there.”
Walters said he wouldn’t be discussing the matter with Cartwright, and claimed Johns was at training recently, suggesting the matter is a non-issue.
The Broncos have endured a win-less preseason with a 22-all draw against Queensland Cup team Wynnum Manly in their opening trial before a disappointing 16-point loss to North Queensland at Redcliffe.