Walsh set for best in Origin, emotions no issue: DCE

Joel Gould |

Daly Cherry-Evans (left) is backing Reece Walsh (right) to fire for Queensland on Wednesday night.
Daly Cherry-Evans (left) is backing Reece Walsh (right) to fire for Queensland on Wednesday night.

Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans insists the best is yet to come from fullback Reece Walsh and he has no concerns about his emotions spilling over in the State of Origin series opener.

Wednesday night will be the 21-year-old’s first Origin match at Homebush, where the blue-rinse wigs worn by Blatchy’s Blues supporters will dominate the stadium.

They will be jeering Walsh, not cheering, but the ultra-confident No.1 won’t care one bit.

Walsh is yet to lose an Origin match after winning both games he played in Adelaide and Brisbane last year.

There will be interest in part three of the feud he had going with NSW playmaker Jarome Luai in both games of the 2023 series, including being sent off at the end of game two.

Cherry-Evans said there would be no need to talk to Walsh about controlling his passion.

“I reckon I am going to let him be Reece. I am certainly not going to talk to him about it,” he said.

“There are plenty of other things we talk about in camp, and so long as our talk and connection is around how we play our best footy I reckon Reece has always got the team first. 

“I think he is going to be fine. He has a great mentor in Billy. He won’t be short of people giving him advice, but ultimately the best advice we can give Reece is to be himself.”

Walsh has lit up the NRL for the past two seasons, but Cherry-Evans said he had another gear.

“All of the best fullbacks take time in the game. It takes time to refine and learn the game, so of course I think his best footy is ahead of him. He has set a pretty high bar for himself,” he said.

“That is why I love playing alongside him. He is a special player.

“I’ve got a lot of faith and confidence in Reece.”

The veteran Maroons captain said reconnecting with Walsh in camp had been great fun. 

“He just gives me so much energy, just watching him run around. He is great to watch and hard to play against,” he said.

“It is nice he is on my team this time. We are going to try and bring out the best in Reece Walsh on Wednesday night. There are a lot of moving pieces that go into a game of footy. Reece is one, and a very important part.”

How do you get best out of him?

“Get him the ball in space. It is as simple as that,” Cherry-Evans grinned.