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)

 

Sup42

Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
19,145
It depends......

About the management of Walsh, like anything significant in life, it depends.....

Some horses need to run.

Whatever Brown decides he needs to make it clear that Reece will be seen as a regular starter next year.

That is goal number one set. He chose the Warriors because he is hanging out to play in the NRL, give him that goal.

I would hope they include him in his development planning.

I would be telling him, we want you to take time off this season in phases, we are giving you the responsibility of choosing when that happens.

Empower the boy, teach him to manage his career from the outset. Give him some control.
 

ramps

1st Grade Fringe
May 2, 2013
867
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
It depends......

About the management of Walsh, like anything significant in life, it depends.....

Some horses need to run.

Whatever Brown decides he needs to make it clear that Reece will be seen as a regular starter next year.

That is goal number one set. He chose the Warriors because he is hanging out to play in the NRL, give him that goal.

I would hope they include him in his development planning.

I would be telling him, we want you to take time off this season in phases, we are giving you the responsibility of choosing when that happens.

Empower the boy, teach him to manage his career from the outset. Give him some control.
Finally someone giving some good advice. I thought that article about resting him was laughable. You can't compare players and their careers. There are waay too many situations that could have/would have made a difference to their careers. You cant forecast a career ending injury. I mean, Johnson had plenty time to develop. He was in the system and U20's for years. If anything it stunted his growth as a player. There is nothing better than first grade experience. You cant teach that speed, footy IQ that you learn.

You wouldn't adapt quick enough if you spend too much time in reserves or U20s. I mean, take most of our juniors for example. Started out U20s stars then spent far too long in reserves and never kicked on.

Yes they should give them a break but only for recovery and to refresh. If they're good enough for first grade then put them there regardless of age. The key is IF they are good enough. Reece certainly is. Let him manage his body like every other professional athlete. Give him expert advice but let him make the call.
 

Ever Hopeful

1st Grade Fringe
Contributor
Feb 24, 2013
2,548
Compare to SJ who was given time to develop muscle mass and still struggled defensively at first. Compare the whippet he was to the tank he is now.

A fully developed Taumalolo (for example) running at an underdeveloped half creates a much higher chance of long term wear and tear, or even more serious injury. It is just physics.

Be patient whilst the strength and conditioning team works with him to slowly build mass. I am all for him being protected. The unknown of course is whether his long term future is here though, but you have to do right by the kid.
 

john nick

1st Grade Fringe
Mar 28, 2020
2,067
tauranga
Compare to SJ who was given time to develop muscle mass and still struggled defensively at first. Compare the whippet he was to the tank he is now.

A fully developed Taumalolo (for example) running at an underdeveloped half creates a much higher chance of long term wear and tear, or even more serious injury. It is just physics.

Be patient whilst the strength and conditioning team works with him to slowly build mass. I am all for him being protected. The unknown of course is whether his long term future is here though, but you have to do right by the kid.
Agreed that every player is different
 

Sup42

Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
19,145
Compare to SJ who was given time to develop muscle mass and still struggled defensively at first. Compare the whippet he was to the tank he is now.

A fully developed Taumalolo (for example) running at an underdeveloped half creates a much higher chance of long term wear and tear, or even more serious injury. It is just physics.

Be patient whilst the strength and conditioning team works with him to slowly build mass. I am all for him being protected. The unknown of course is whether his long term future is here though, but you have to do right by the kid.
It will be interesting.

Clearly the more time he spends defending at fullback the better. Less tackles.

He is a lot more built than SJ and Ponga on debut.

He is a solid little tank. Still, a gym build is not associated with endurance and robustness in the same way as being a farm boy who works dawn to sunset is conditioned for stress...or a coal miner.

Still, he might be a hard man, time will tell, the littler guys are not always vulnerable.
 

ramps

1st Grade Fringe
May 2, 2013
867
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Compare to SJ who was given time to develop muscle mass and still struggled defensively at first. Compare the whippet he was to the tank he is now.

A fully developed Taumalolo (for example) running at an underdeveloped half creates a much higher chance of long term wear and tear, or even more serious injury. It is just physics.

Be patient whilst the strength and conditioning team works with him to slowly build mass. I am all for him being protected. The unknown of course is whether his long term future is here though, but you have to do right by the kid.
Fair point but... Cam Smith. Arguably best player ever, most durable player in history. Hardly has muscle mass. Definitely not the strength and conditioning dream. Dad bod if anything. but you see my point. Mass isnt everything. Ever since SJ bulked up hes been injury prone.
 

TheCool

1st Grade Fringe
Jul 18, 2013
1,453
Had to laugh in the game thread on Sunday with people worried we would ruin him by playing him against the Storm.

First grade experience is the most valuable thing you can provide to a young player. It wouldn’t matter if we got thumped by 40 points, he would’ve been better for the experience. Same goes for Rocco.

Unless his body has taken an absolute beating and needs a week off to recover, I think Walsh should be playing as much first grade as he can this year. I think it’s pretty clear that he offers more than SOS already.

Make it clear that we’re willing to let him play through the mistakes that he definitely will make this year, so that he’s better player next year because of it.

Often said that you’re not a valuable first grade player until 50 games in. Better to get that 50 out of the way as soon as possible.
 
Last edited:

Gizzyfan

Warriors 1st Grader
Jan 2, 2013
4,823
I would also suggest having conversations with his parents to explain how the club intends to manage Reece in his initial days at the club. Sam Walker didn't stay with the Broncos because he wasn't allowed to take his parents to a recruitment meeting.
 
  • Like
Reactions: J_P and Defence

AusWarriorsFan

1st Grade Fringe
Sep 4, 2016
2,541
Sensational start for Walsh. Personally Id have him playing 5/8th, Turner at the back with his speed, at least until the Warriors can sign a marquee 5/8th, if they are going to let Hayze go unteseted in the position, of which Im sure he will get signed elsewhere. But Walsh showed his raw talent immediately. Shame we didnt sign SJ back, SJ, Walsh and Turner and a marquee 9 would be a potent spine.
 

Rick O'Shay

Warriors 1st Grader
May 1, 2013
3,985
New Plymouth
No, they are showing due diligence. He is young guy going into the big time and requires management. He should not play every game as he will need to have recovery time.
Very important also to keep his feet on the ground. One of the pluses he has is that he thinks he's invincible at the moment and can try/do anything he wants. Already an Immortal. Doesn't take much for that to turn into a negative if it spins the wrong way.

League is littered with past indiscretions. Mentoring will be welcome as well as managing his game time.
 

ramps

1st Grade Fringe
May 2, 2013
867
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Very important also to keep his feet on the ground. One of the pluses he has is that he thinks he's invincible at the moment and can try/do anything he wants. Already an Immortal. Doesn't take much for that to turn into a negative if it spins the wrong way.

League is littered with past indiscretions. Mentoring will be welcome as well as managing his game time.
he thinks hes invincible because he was trying to spark something on attack. Got 3 try assists on debut?

i see that as a determined player who didnt want to lose and took the reins because no one else did. More a player who had pride in the jersey he was wearing. But i know what you mean.

just felt the need to correct you in that part.
 

Ref

1st Grade Fringe
May 19, 2012
582
Rotorua
Some footballers peak at 18/19.
Will Hopoate before his Mormon thing is a prime example.

Some young guys handle the rigours of weekly NRL football and its not necessarily a physical thing.
You can be a bit of a lightweight but be a hard bugger.

Mark O'Meley was playing first grade at 18/19 at prop and was top drawer from the get go and maintained that standard.
Sonny Bill the same.

So if Walsh body is up to it and he is playing well keep playing him.
 

john nick

1st Grade Fringe
Mar 28, 2020
2,067
tauranga
Some footballers peak at 18/19.
Will Hopoate before his Mormon thing is a prime example.

Some young guys handle the rigours of weekly NRL football and its not necessarily a physical thing.
You can be a bit of a lightweight but be a hard bugger.

Mark O'Meley was playing first grade at 18/19 at prop and was top drawer from the get go and maintained that standard.
Sonny Bill the same.

So if Walsh body is up to it and he is playing well keep playing him.
Only the kid knows how his body feels and what he wants. Seems to be mature enough so let's see what he thinks
 
  • Like
Reactions: Big_Fattz and Ref

Rick O'Shay

Warriors 1st Grader
May 1, 2013
3,985
New Plymouth
he thinks hes invincible because he was trying to spark something on attack. Got 3 try assists on debut?

i see that as a determined player who didnt want to lose and took the reins because no one else did. More a player who had pride in the jersey he was wearing. But i know what you mean.

just felt the need to correct you in that part.
It's called youth and is admirable
 

AusWarriorsFan

1st Grade Fringe
Sep 4, 2016
2,541
Some footballers peak at 18/19.
Will Hopoate before his Mormon thing is a prime example.

Some young guys handle the rigours of weekly NRL football and its not necessarily a physical thing.
Hell yes, many Australian bred players are ready at 18 for NRL. Cleary is a fine example.

Walsh is not little. IMO right now for the team, RTS is best served as a defensive FB and Walsh getting his hands on the ball often at 5/8th which he is more familiar with. At least for this season, not every game just yet, but alternate with Kodi. I think that would see us scoring a lot more points from the excessive Completion rate and Redzone football we are getting from our forwards.

He could play 7, he certainly would be better than SOS, although SOS has been more consistent than Kodi, anyway, until CHT is back, either 6 or 7. Hes got the skills of a running half back.

This Kid doesnt need cotton wool, he needs to go into next season with having put his stamp on the Warriors offensive game, imo learning that at half back will make him fit into the line as an offensive FB next year.
 

Last Game

02 May

24 - 20
6.5 Total Avg Rating
7.0 Your Avg Rating

Highest Rated Player

Lowest Rated Player

Compiled from 23 ratings