Warriors boss Cameron George has taken a swipe at the Broncos after it emerged they are making moves to bring teenage superstar Reece Walsh back to the club.
The 19-year-old was allowed to walk away from Red Hill this year before he’d played a single NRL game as he linked up with the New Zealand side, making an immediate impact at fullback.
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The young gun won an Origin call-up for Queensland but missed out on the chance to wear Maroon for the first time because of injury.
Brisbane clearly regrets letting Walsh leave because it wants him back in the Sunshine State and is reportedly discussing how to facilitate a return when his $1.2 million, three-year deal with the Warriors expires.
But George had a crack at the Broncos, saying if they want Walsh so desperately now they shouldn’t have let him go in the first place.
“It’s just ironic that we’re playing the Broncos this week and the Brisbane media are throwing up that they’re looking at him and carrying on,” George told SEN radio.
“Good luck to them, they should have never let him go in the first place.
“We’ve put a lot of work in with Reece, he’s on contract with us for a couple of years.
“We showed Reece a great deal of faith when quite frankly, the Broncos didn’t.
“On that basis, Reece is enjoying his time and he’s been given great opportunities at our club and he’s a terrific little footy player.
“Naturally, when they become free on the market it becomes quite competitive, but we’ve done a lot of great things with Reece and he’s enjoying his time.
“We’re looking forward to having him around for a while.”
Reece Walsh is in high demand.Source:Getty Images
Walsh’s three-year deal included a player option for the final year, meaning the Warriors only have two years of team control – 2021 and 2022. So, if Walsh gets a big offer, he could depart the Warriors at the end of the 2022 season, with the Broncos able to bid for his services from November 1 next year.
Other teams would also be able to lodge a bid and with Walsh one of the most exciting talents in the sport and only 20 at the conclusion of next season, a bidding war would likely ensue if he turned down his player option.
“We never wanted to lose Reece,” said Broncos coach Kevin Walters. “We are a Queensland-based club and I had high hopes for Reece to play for the Broncos.
“I wished Reece all the best at the Warriors. He has been playing some good footy for them, which I expected him to do, but he’s only young.
“I’m not sure what will happen down the track, but Reece is always welcome back here, certainly.”
With the NZ Herald
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