Vodafone Warriors snare talented young fullback Walsh

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


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.

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)



1st Grade Fringe
Dec 4, 2018
Ben Ikin had only 4 NRL games. When Paul Vautin saw him in the hotel he ignored him because he didn't know who he was.

I go with worried2death. I just don't want to see the kid smashed, although SOO is fast more than brutal these days.

A bigger problem is that he gets used to playing with superstars, and we don't really have any.
When SOO players go back to regular FG, they normally play even better for their respective clubs.

Staying injury free is the key, though I could see Reece leveling up and coming back an even better player based on what he’s displaying so far.. the kid just loves the game and mixing with the best would rub off on him.
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1st Grade Fringe
May 18, 2012
The best thing for the Warriors and keeping Reece Walsh beyond his contract is that they stay in Australia. Most unlike to happen otherwise. But happy to give him a million a year!


Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 20, 2012

NRL: Warriors coach Nathan Brown argues that Reece Walsh shouldn't play State of Origin​

Warriors coach Nathan Brown hopes that Reece Walsh is not part of the State of Origin equation in 2021.

The teenager has been talked up as a possible Queensland bolter, with luminaries such as Wally Lewis and Billy Moore both nominating the 18-year-old as a contender for a utility spot, in light of injury concerns around Cameron Munster.

With a smaller talent pool than New South Wales, the Maroons have a history of surprise selections, with plenty of youngsters and players plucked from left field.

Walsh has seemingly unlimited potential but he has only played five NRL games and didn't take the field at all in 2020, after the development grades were canned due to Covid-19.

Brown understands the excitement around Walsh, especially after his virtuoso performance last Friday, but feels the interstate series would be too much, too soon.

"[That's] the great thing with Origin, it gets everyone talking about the game," said Brown. "Personally, I'd like to not see Reece Walsh play Origin at this time in his career. He's so young and he has only played a handful of games in the last two years."

Brown respects the judgement of Lewis (38 Origin games) and Moore (17) – "they have achieved far more than me at that level, I wasn't good enough to get there" – but doesn't want Walsh rushed into the interstate arena.

"They certainly understand Origin a lot better than [me] because they been at the coalface," said Brown. "It's great they are talking about him and hopefully Reece continues to grow and develop with us and over time I'm sure those things will come his way."

However Brown admitted that time in the Queensland environment could only enhance his development, if the rookie was brought in as a training partner.

"If [coach] Paul Green saw Reece as a long-term Origin prospect then him going and spending time with Origin players and in particular Billy Slater, those things only benefit a player."

The Origin talk has added to the hype around Walsh, despite the Warriors doing their best to dampen it down. It's hard to stay grounded, especially with the rolling NRL coverage in Australia, but Brown is hopeful Walsh can.

"He's got a good playing group around him," said Brown. "Our most high-profile player, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, is also our most humble player so he's got some really good people around to help with that.

"We want him to be human, we also need him to be confident. He plays with a little bit of confidence and we don't want him to lose that either."

With his constant involvement from fullback, Walsh has added another dimension to the Warriors' playmaking equation, though Brown admitted it will take time to optimise the talents of Walsh, Tuivasa-Sheck and the halves.

According to Brown, the team's training intensity is continually improving, which they hope to transfer to the field against the Cowboys tomorrow night, as they address the lapses that have plagued many of their performances in 2021.

Ken Maumalo missed last week's game with a "slight calf strain" and Brown said his continued absence was due to a desire to not change a winning team, and also reward Marcelo Montoya.

The Warriors have yet to win back-to-back games this season, a statistic that will have to change if they want to be September contenders.

They edged the Cowboys 24-20 in early May but are unlikely to have the luxury of a massive halftime advantage (24-4) again, though Jason Taumalolo (suspended) is a significant loss for the home side.

"Both sides are playing a bit better than [four] weeks ago," said Brown. "So either team will have to play better than they did last time to get the money."

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1st Grade Fringe
May 2, 2013
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Would be good for him to get into Queensland camp although he shouldn't play. Would be good for the experience and would definitely improve his game. Its bitter sweet that he chose Australia over NZ. But very good decision for our team. He will gain a lot of experience from quality players and coaches. He will come back to the warriors and rip in.
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Negative Nancy
Mar 30, 2012
Reading the Fox Sports NRL page is says we have signed Reece Walsh up to and including 2024. So three more years after this one!

Is that correct? If so, we have f***in' won lotto!
Nrl.com signings tracker initially had him for 3 years starting in 2022 (2022, 2023,2024)

Since then we have brought him in early midway through this year and it has been updated to (2021, 2022, 2023).

Nrl signings tracker is the only reputable source for contract information.
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1st Grade Fringe
Dec 4, 2018
Queenslanders have a real passion form their state. The kid is just being a typical Queenslander. It didn't stop Steve Price or Brent Tate playing for the Warriors.
Even though I’m a bit gutted he won’t be running rampant alongside Hughes in a kiwis jumper, it would’ve been weird for him to give up his Aussie heritage and Origin rep honours to play for a country he’s never even visited..


1st Grade Fringe
Jul 18, 2013
Nrl.com signings tracker initially had him for 3 years starting in 2022 (2022, 2023,2024)

Since then we have brought him in early midway through this year and it has been updated to (2021, 2022, 2023).

Nrl signings tracker is the only reputable source for contract information.
Can we ban comments from people throwing out contract information from anywhere other than NRL.com signings tracker. Just creates confusion on the forum.

Boats n Hoes

1st Grade Fringe
May 14, 2012
Over the disappointment of that loss may as well focus on the positive and watching this kid play almost makes the losses more bearable......much the same way SJ at his absolute best used to for me.

To be fair he didnt have a great first half, forced the play a bit and put us under a bit of pressure at times, and has a long way to go with his last line defence.......but geez he's a great watch in full flight......if you watch him in the lead up to that 80 metre try you can see him sense the potential oppertunity that opens off Montoya and position himself accordingly....

just those great instincts that great attacking players have. Looks like the skip to the outside and draw and pass is going to be his bread and butter.....should never be considered a run of the mill skill cause not many can do it as succesfully or consistently as he does.

Drums for S.O.O are only going to beat louder after this game.......really hope Brownie plays hardball and plays the duty of care card.


1st Grade Fringe
Oct 9, 2012
Reece walsh would do so well to have an origin camp. It would be so great to see him develop into the sort of billy slater mold - after tonight it would be invaluable for Walsh to learn how to self-preserve himself. Always thought slater was a grub for doing karate kicks on his bomb takes but seeing walsh tonight it makes sense.

still thinking about his 90m try. like the fact he had the presence of mind to stick to the sideline early so he didn't give the cover defender a single inch so he could challenge for the line. most players would have come in early for safety but he backed himself and knew 50-60m before hand it could be close. he is so good
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