Vodafone Warriors snare talented young fullback Walsh

Richard Becht & photosport.nz
Thu 18 Mar 2021, 04:45 PM

reece-walsh-1a.jpg

Exciting young Brisbane fullback Reece Walsh, widely regarded as one of the hottest young talents in the game, has been snared by the Vodafone Warriors on a three-year contract from next season.

With the Broncos on a development contract this season, Walsh represented both the Queensland State of Origin Under 18s and Australian Schoolboys in 2019.

The Tweed Seagulls star impressed for the Broncos in their NRL trial against Wynnum Manly last month.

He’s yet another product from the famed Keebra Park State High School rugby league nursery which produced his future teammate Ben Murdoch-Masila along with the likes of Benji Marshall and Payne Haas.

This is a fantastic signing for our club and Vodafone Warriors fans have every reason to be excited about the progress we’re making with recruitment in the short, mid and long term
Cameron GeorgeVodafone Warriors CEO

“This is a fantastic signing for our club and Vodafone Warriors fans have every reason to be excited about the progress we’re making with recruitment in the short, mid and long term,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.

“Reece is a wonderful, polite young man who impressed us immensely when we met him.

“He comes to the Vodafone Warriors at the perfect time following us re-signing Tohu (Harris). We now have an exciting future with experience and exciting young players developed from within and others that have been handpicked to join us. It’s a great statement for our club.”

Of Australian Indigenous and Maori heritage, Walsh has been wowing observers with his skill level.

“Reece is a prodigious talent who has starred in junior footy,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan.

It’s not often you get an opportunity to secure a player of his ability. He is a natural footballer with speed, balance and vision
Peter O'SullivanVodafone Warriors recruitment manager

“It’s not often you get an opportunity to secure a player of his ability. He is a natural footballer with speed, balance and vision.

“With experience I believe Reece will go on to become a top-line NRL fullback in the coming years. He’ll complement Wayde (Egan), Kodi (Nikorima) and Chanel (Harris-Tavita) perfectly in our spine.

With captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck finishing with the Vodafone Warriors at the end of the season, head coach Nathan Brown said Walsh shaped as a wonderful replacement.

“Reece has all the attributes in his game that the really good players have,” he said.

“His speed and game sense are things that can make a difference in our team. We won’t be putting pressure on Reece by making big statements about his game but we will give him all the guidance to make sure his game is ready for the start of 2022. We want him to work hard and train hard and he will have a great career in front him.”

A left-footed goal kicker, Walsh slotted six from six attempts and scored a try in the Australian Schoolboys’ 36-20 win over the Junior Kiwis in 2019.

REECE WALSH
Born: July 10, 2002
Birthplace: Sydney, NSW
Junior Club: Tweed Seagulls
Position: Fullback
Height: 177cm
Weight: 88kg
Rep Honours: Australian Schoolboys (2019), Queensland Under-18s (2019)

 

Miket12

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 20, 2012
9,284
Fuck....not good signs there......hopefully the boys get a boil up into him ....knock that shit out quick smart.
That's what my good lady drinks. An ex Kiwi, NRL and ESL player who used to work with her once told me there was no one on the footie field he was ever scared off.... and no one off the footie field..... except for two people, my wife and his.

Where's Ruben and his Kava when we need him?
 

DallyM

1st Grade Fringe
Jun 21, 2016
819
I would have Reece calling the plays and playing both sides of the field put RTS out the back for his defence it's needed also he's been sniffing around the ruck more lately he's wasted on the wing... Kody I reakon is done at the warriors hasn't got the organizational or leadership qualities needed, even SOS direction is better... but for now I would still play Kody and let him pick his moments if they present themselves.... I've been trying to be positive about Egan and have been hoping he comes right, he's def carrying a niggle but damn he's been disappointing especially with those one on one tackles which have led to tries, he's had a few.... Maybe need Tevaga to cover him for spells but long term need more attacking hooker
 

DallyM

1st Grade Fringe
Jun 21, 2016
819
Also what a gem Reece is, what a break out game in a losing team.... Has all the skills, his performance while not perfect has put the NRL world on notice, he alone made the loss bearable tbh not even disappointed considering we had our second string team out there.... Good times ahead
 

wellyboy

1st Grade Fringe
Contributor
Jun 1, 2015
418
Try/assist Linebreak/assist Offload Tackle/break

Reece walsh debut game: 2 1 2 5

RTS 7 games 2021: 3 3 12 35

SoS 4 games 2021: 0 0 3 12

Kodi 7 games 2021: 3 2 6 2

CHT 2 games 2021: 0 0 0 4


I was really impressed with reece's game against the storm, best team in the comp and in their yard. Just imagine his stats if he played from rd1?
 
Last edited:

Sup42

Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
19,145
CHT Hooking or Centre would be good.

Hooker might be a bit heavy even for him.

Make him the third receiver, the ball playing centre on the edge.
 
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Ohgeelowk

1st Grade Fringe
Nov 24, 2020
111
I made a statement earlier this year stating Rocco to be our breakout player of the year. Had I known Walsh to be part of our top 30, I’d of tipped him. But I’d love to be proved wrong!!
 
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Miket12

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 20, 2012
9,284

Michael Burgess: Why Warriors can't rush things with 18-year-old NRL star Reece Walsh​

Reece Walsh is set to play his second game in the space of eight days for the Warriors, but let's hope that doesn't become the norm this season.

There is plenty of excitement about Walsh, for good reason, after what he showed on debut against the Storm.

Walsh is an obvious gem – but diamonds need time to shine.

And he has hardly played any senior football.

Before last Sunday's match against the Storm, he had only played three games; a pre-season trial with the Broncos and Queensland Cup matches with the Norths Devils and Redcliffe.

Walsh didn't take the field at all in 2020, with development grades canned due to Covid-19.

It's always a balance with sporting prodigies.

Michael Owen was a wunderkind, but peaked far too young, never quite the same after injuries. Freddy Adu never recovered from the hype of making his MLS debut at 14, while Tracy Austin won two US Open titles as a teenager but her body began to break down by the age of 20.

With young athletes, it's important they are physically, mentally and emotionally ready.

Walsh needs time to become accustomed to the demands of the NRL. Especially the non-stop 2021 version of the game, with an unprecedented number of injuries.

He's a sparkling talent, but timing is everything and there should be no rush.

It's a bonus to have him this season, but it's much more important that he is firing from 2022 and beyond as Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's replacement.

It's not straightforward, because the ambitious Walsh might want to play as much as possible, but it will take good management.

He's a long-term project, rather than a short-term fix due to injuries and roster issues this year, and his ascent needs to be carefully managed.

In the 1980s and 1990s teenagers in first grade were a rare sight.

There was a longer apprenticeship, with the Under-21 competition and an established reserve grade system.

There were exceptions, like schoolboy Cronulla Shark Andrew Ettingshausen, who coach Jack Gibson once said was so fast that he could switch the light off and get in bed before it was dark.

Brad Fittler was a first grader at 18, as was Stacey Jones for the Warriors in 1995.

But there are other cautionary tales.

Kiwi Gene Ngamu was thrown into first grade at Manly as an 18-year-old – with an avalanche of publicity – but it was too much, too soon and his career only got going a few years later.

Benji Marshall had freakish talents as a teenager but also suffered immensely as his body adapted, with two shoulder dislocations in 2004 alone.

Jordan Rankin is an extreme example, debuting as a 16-year-old for the Gold Coast Titans, but only managing 16 games over the following five seasons.

The Warriors have showed patience in the past.

Shaun Johnson was tipped for big things from his first Under-20s game in 2009, but his NRL debut came in June 2011.

Isaiah Papali'i was a shock selection in round one of the 2017 season, but the 18-year-old was consigned to reserve grade after that, before becoming a regular in 2018.

Tuivasa-Sheck was also eased into the sport. He was given six games as a 19-year-old at the end of the Roosters' 2012 season – when their finals hopes were already gone - before storming the NRL in 2013, off the back of a full pre-season.

Warriors coach Nathan Brown seems aware of the conundrum with the marquee talent.

"There will probably be sometimes where he needs to have a week off or a game off, and he can also play off the bench so there are a number of ways to do it," said Brown. "I would imagine [sometimes] we'll need to give him a week where he just has a week purely off footy and gets his body to recover."

 

BeastMode

Warriors 1st Grader
Mar 7, 2015
7,550

Michael Burgess: Why Warriors can't rush things with 18-year-old NRL star Reece Walsh​

Reece Walsh is set to play his second game in the space of eight days for the Warriors, but let's hope that doesn't become the norm this season.

There is plenty of excitement about Walsh, for good reason, after what he showed on debut against the Storm.

Walsh is an obvious gem – but diamonds need time to shine.

And he has hardly played any senior football.

Before last Sunday's match against the Storm, he had only played three games; a pre-season trial with the Broncos and Queensland Cup matches with the Norths Devils and Redcliffe.

Walsh didn't take the field at all in 2020, with development grades canned due to Covid-19.

It's always a balance with sporting prodigies.

Michael Owen was a wunderkind, but peaked far too young, never quite the same after injuries. Freddy Adu never recovered from the hype of making his MLS debut at 14, while Tracy Austin won two US Open titles as a teenager but her body began to break down by the age of 20.

With young athletes, it's important they are physically, mentally and emotionally ready.

Walsh needs time to become accustomed to the demands of the NRL. Especially the non-stop 2021 version of the game, with an unprecedented number of injuries.

He's a sparkling talent, but timing is everything and there should be no rush.

It's a bonus to have him this season, but it's much more important that he is firing from 2022 and beyond as Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's replacement.

It's not straightforward, because the ambitious Walsh might want to play as much as possible, but it will take good management.

He's a long-term project, rather than a short-term fix due to injuries and roster issues this year, and his ascent needs to be carefully managed.

In the 1980s and 1990s teenagers in first grade were a rare sight.

There was a longer apprenticeship, with the Under-21 competition and an established reserve grade system.

There were exceptions, like schoolboy Cronulla Shark Andrew Ettingshausen, who coach Jack Gibson once said was so fast that he could switch the light off and get in bed before it was dark.

Brad Fittler was a first grader at 18, as was Stacey Jones for the Warriors in 1995.

But there are other cautionary tales.

Kiwi Gene Ngamu was thrown into first grade at Manly as an 18-year-old – with an avalanche of publicity – but it was too much, too soon and his career only got going a few years later.

Benji Marshall had freakish talents as a teenager but also suffered immensely as his body adapted, with two shoulder dislocations in 2004 alone.

Jordan Rankin is an extreme example, debuting as a 16-year-old for the Gold Coast Titans, but only managing 16 games over the following five seasons.

The Warriors have showed patience in the past.

Shaun Johnson was tipped for big things from his first Under-20s game in 2009, but his NRL debut came in June 2011.

Isaiah Papali'i was a shock selection in round one of the 2017 season, but the 18-year-old was consigned to reserve grade after that, before becoming a regular in 2018.

Tuivasa-Sheck was also eased into the sport. He was given six games as a 19-year-old at the end of the Roosters' 2012 season – when their finals hopes were already gone - before storming the NRL in 2013, off the back of a full pre-season.

Warriors coach Nathan Brown seems aware of the conundrum with the marquee talent.

"There will probably be sometimes where he needs to have a week off or a game off, and he can also play off the bench so there are a number of ways to do it," said Brown. "I would imagine [sometimes] we'll need to give him a week where he just has a week purely off footy and gets his body to recover."


Yes, totally agree we really need to park the brakes on him and get a reality check.

I hope we’re not all thinking he’s a lock for 80mins every week. Brown saying “a week off “ doesn’t sound like enough for me.... I’m thinking a good 2-3 games off so yes always back fresh and better...
 
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