Sailor wants Broncos bench spot when Walsh returns

Joel Gould |

Brisbane fullback Tristan Sailor (right) has learned plenty about his craft from Reece Walsh.
Brisbane fullback Tristan Sailor (right) has learned plenty about his craft from Reece Walsh.

Brisbane fullback Tristan Sailor has learned plenty off the injured Reece Walsh about custodian play, but wants to play alongside him when the brilliant No.1 returns from a facial fracture.

Sailor was solid in the 38-12 win over North Queensland as Walsh watched on from the coach’s box high in the Suncorp Stadium stands.

Walsh is due back in a fortnight from his injury and will go straight back to his fullback position.

Sailor, who can cover several positions in the backline, doesn’t want to go back to Queensland Cup when that happens, but has his eye on a bench utility role.

Versatile Corey Oates was given a crack at that task against the Cowboys and did it well, while Tyson Smoothy is the bench hooker.   

“That would be really good to try and get a bench spot or something like that,” Sailor said.

“Smoothy was really good and Oatesy was really good tonight. Hopefully I can find a bench spot, and the best way to do that is keep playing good footy.”

Sailor has electric speed, silky skills and a neat short kicking game. He worked all pre-season with and against Walsh at training to fine-tune his defence.

“Walshy has definitely been good for me,” Sailor said.

“I think because we play on two opposing teams at training we challenge each other with doing trick plays and stuff like that.

“We have definitely been helping each other. Organising (defensive) lines against someone like Walshy is going to make me better.

“He takes short sides and is very good, so it makes me get my defensive organisation in order.”

Reece Walsh and coach Kevin Walters
A recuperating Reece Walsh and coach Kevin Walters look on during a Broncos training session. (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

Sailor has been heartened by Walsh’s support behind the scenes.

“Walshy is not someone who is down in the dumps. The first thing he did the next day (after he was injured) was message me and say how excited he was for me,” Sailor said.

“It is a credit to him. He is just doing his best to get back in the next couple of weeks. I will just keep doing what I do best.”

Sailor said he had been backed by coach Kevin Walters to show his skill and flair, and he intends to showcase his talents away to Melbourne on Thursday night.

“Kev is also really good. He lets you express yourself,” Sailor said.

“I think that shows in people’s games. Ezra (Mam) and Walshy and myself wouldn’t be the players we are if we didn’t have that freedom. 

“Sometimes we make errors, but we are all better players for it, and it is showing on the field.”