Billy Walters' patient wait for NRL debut

Billy Walters NRL debut has been a long time coming - longer than most would have anticipated given his rugby league lineage.

The son of NRL great and current Queensland coach Kevin Walters, Billy has always carried with his name the inevitable weight of expectation, but it was his slight frame and body weight that for a long time prevented him from playing senior football.

Now 25, Walters was too small to play under-20s footy in his late teens but he persevered, working his way up through the Queensland Cup.

"I don't think I was mature enough or physically ready for 20s when I was a 20-year-old," he said.

"I've had to go a different path - I had to go back and play colts in the Queensland comp and learn how to play with my physical stature.

"It has been a wait but I'm so excited to get out there and rip in, especially for this great club."

The playmaker caught the eye of the club's recruiters while playing for Easts Tigers and has thrived in the Melbourne system, becoming a standout player for Easts at five-eighth in the process.

Tonight he will finally wear the number 6 jersey for Storm, stepping in for Cam Munster who is on Origin duties, while Kevin Walters will leave Maroons camp to watch his son play.

"He was stoked when I told him. He's had a lot on his plate in the last few weeks but he called me yesterday and told me how proud he was and how excited he was," Billy said.

"He's coming to the game - he'll be there supporting me."

Covering for arguably one of the best halves in the game in Cam Munster is no small task, but Walters has embraced the next man up mentality that is part of the Melbourne Storm fabric.

"I have just been focused on playing good footy week-to-week for Easts and being ready for any opportunity," he said.

"This game has been at the back of my mind - I was praying that Munster was going to be playing good footy too and get picked for Queensland.

"(Bellamy) said he doesn't want me to be Cam Munster, he wants me to be Billy Walters.

"They are big shoes to fill but Craig just wants me to know my role - he's not expecting anything flashy, he wants me to play my role the best I can."