The Warriors have found their Roger Tuivasa-Sheck replacement, claiming they’ve landed one of the game’s hottest young talents in Brisbane fullback Reece Walsh.
The Warriors on Thursday championed the 18-year-old’s signing on a three-season deal, which has come as a massive blow to the Broncos.
Walsh is a Queensland under-18s representative and Australian schoolboys player, and starred in his first senior match in a trial against Wynnum-Manly last month.
The deal comes just a month after Tuivasa-Sheck’s decision to leave the Warriors at the end of the year to pursue his dream of playing for the All Blacks.
“Reece has all the attributes in his game that the really good players have,” Warriors coach Nathan Brown 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.”
With both Indigenous and Maori heritage, Walsh came through the same Keebra Park system that gifted both Benji Marshall and Payne Haas to the NRL.
His exit from Brisbane comes after the Broncos lost fellow young gun David Fifita last year, and is another example of young talent walking away from the club.
However it is believed the Warriors’ offer was worth far more than that put forward by Brisbane, with Walsh lured across the Tasman by veteran 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,” O’Sullivan said.
“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.”