Storm coach Craig Bellamy elevated Walters to cover for Cameron Munster at five-eighth.
“It’s been a wait but it’s been worth it and I can’t wait to rip in with such a great club,” Walters said.
“In the last two or three years I’ve put on more muscle and strength being in the system at Melbourne. That’s definitely helped me grow my body.”
Kevin Walters has spent the past few weeks focused heavily on Queensland’s State-of-Origin campaign, which ends in a deciding game three in Sydney next Wednesday, but will be at his son’s Storm game.
“To have such a legend be my dad, he’s been very handy and helpful with me and my football,” Billy Walters said.
“He was stoked when I told him.
“He’s had a lot on his plate the past couple of weeks but called me yesterday and told me how proud he was and how excited he was.
“He’s coming to the game. I can’t wait to have him there supporting me.”
Bellamy praised Walters for his perseverance and he’s excited about seeing how his side handles the game with six players missing due to State of Origin.
“He’s improved in a lot of areas and comes from pretty good stock,” Bellamy said.
“He’s a good kid and pretty popular as well. Since origin has been going we haven’t had our origin players here much so Billy has done a lot of training with the first grade side and I’m sure their combinations will be pretty good.”
Teenager forward Tino Fa’asuamaleaui will also make his NRL debut while several of the Storm’s bench players will take on bigger roles and newly signed centre Solomone Kata is listed to make his club debut after crossing from New Zealand Warriors.
“He hasn’t been shy, hasn’t been tip-toeing around the joint. He’s given us something off the field,” Bellamy said of Kata.
“He’s shown some promising signs at training. So far we like what we’ve got from him.”
The Storm will be a much different side to recent weeks but when questioned about whether the side will be too lacking in experience, Walters showed his dad’s quick wit by mentioning captain Cameron Smith, who is due to play his 400th game next round.
“There is a lot of fresh faces in the team but any team with Cameron Smith in it has enough experience so I think we’ll be all right,” Walters said with a smile.
The Storm play St George-Illawarra at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Thursday at 7.50pm.
Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.