Walters won’t let Walsh leave Broncos’ stable again

Scott Bailey |

Adam Reynolds and Reece Walsh will both play the pre-season trial game against North Queensland.
Adam Reynolds and Reece Walsh will both play the pre-season trial game against North Queensland.

Kevin Walters has declared Reece Walsh will remain at Brisbane long-term, with the Broncos coach adamant the club will not lose the fullback for a second time.

Walsh is off contract at the end of next year, meaning the Broncos have until the end of October to lock in the 21-year-old and avoid the prospect of him going to market.

But Walters says that will not come close to happening.

Long viewed as a rising star at Brisbane, Walsh walked out on the club in mid-2021 for the Warriors, after failing to secure a first-grade berth.

His return to the Broncos last year was one of the stories of the season, as his red-hot attack helped take Brisbane to within minutes of their first title in 17 years.

And Walters is well aware Walsh’s contract is the next crucial piece of the Broncos’ long-term puzzle, weeks after securing Ezra Mam on a five-year deal.

“I’ve just mortgaged the house to keep him (Walsh) here,” the Broncos coach said. 

Broncos coach Kevin Walters
Broncos coach Kevin Walters says Reece Walsh will remain at Brisbane long-term. (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

“He won’t be going anywhere. There are lot of those guys that have come off (contract). Ezra is one of them. 

“We did Payne (Haas) late last year and Patty (Carrigan). These guys are all long-term players here for the club, and Walshy is no different. 

“We love having him here and I’m sure he enjoys being around the place as well.”

Walters also challenged Walsh to go to the next level this season, as he prepares for his first hit-out in a pre-season trial against North Queensland on Sunday.

“Some of the things we’ve spoken about is with his defence and his organisation in defence,” Walters said. 

“We know he loves to attack, so that’s always good for us when he is in that mode. 

“But also the unforced errors  – not just Walshy, but as a group that’s a big focus for us.

“Those unforced errors hurt us in the grand final last year. We’re looking to try and eliminate a few of those if we can, and that starts on Sunday.”

Adam Reynolds and Carrigan will both play in the Mackay trial, with the pair avoiding a ban from the NRL for their recent late-night scuffle.

Instead, the duo will cop fines from the NRL after being handed breach notices on Friday.

“I don’t think (playing round one in Las Vegas) was ever in jeopardy, to be honest,” Walters said. 

“But it’s good news for them. They get an opportunity now to put some cobwebs out on Sunday up there.”

Selwyn Cobbo will also play centre for Brisbane, with Brisbane hopeful Mam and Reynolds can provide the youngster the same space Walters once did for Steve Renouf at Brisbane.

“That’s the plan, and likewise for Kotoni (Staggs at right centre) as well,” Walters said.

“They are great players to get the ball one-on-one. That’s the idea of the whole of our attack.”

AAP