Breaking: Broncos closing in on talks to sign 21-year-old fullback

Breaking: Broncos closing in on talks to sign 21-year-old fullback

The fullback’s management have been in negotiations with Brisbane officials for months.

Reece Walsh has confirmed that he will stay with the Broncos, putting an end to rumors over his potential departure. During a press conference at Queensland State of Origin camp on Tuesday, the 21-year-old fullback expressed his desire to finish his career in Brisbane.

The Broncos are in talks with Walsh’s management regarding a long-term agreement that will supposedly keep him with the club until 2030. However, the deal has yet to be finalized. In March, Walsh refuted media rumors that he had agreed to stay with the Broncos for $5.5 million.

“Do not believe everything you read. “No deal has been signed,” he stated on social media at the time.

Walsh anticipated being bombarded with questions regarding his future during his first all-in media conference since arriving in Los Angeles ahead of the opener, but he moved to put an end to the conjecture on Tuesday. “Absolutely. When asked if he would be a Bronco for life, he replied, “100%.”

“The Broncos are a big part of why I’m here (in Origin), and I adore the club. I want to stay here for a long time, and all of that (contract) stuff will be addressed. I adore the club, as well as the members and the values they uphold. They have incredible values… and we have some decent players as well, which helps.”

Walsh started his career in the Broncos system but signed with the New Zealand Warriors in 2021. He returned to the Broncos in 2023 and coach Kevin Walters has vowed never to let him leave the club again.

Walsh was recalled to the Queensland team last week after missing Game 3 of last year’s series due to suspension. The Maroons won the first two games of the series (in which Walsh played), but lost the third dead-rubber game without him.

The gun fullback has a close relationship with famous Maroons coach Billy Slater, and the two were doing extra work after training on Tuesday. “His detail around everything is pretty crazy, so it’s awesome just to get things about your body position, the way your shoulder should be, the way your hips should be,” said Walsh.

“It’s quite wild and great to get stuff that you wouldn’t expect. He is the best at what he does, therefore it’s an honor to be around the greatest fullback in our sport’s history. Being coached and mentored by him, as well as receiving drills during training, is a once-in-a-lifetime chance, so I’m drinking it all in and enjoying the moments together.”

Walsh said he is just as happy to be back in camp as he was the first time he was selected in 2021, when he was unable to play due to an injury sustained during training. Walsh had flashbacks when the phone rung over the weekend after Slater picked him up before Game I of the series last year.

“Getting the call from Billy was pretty special,” he stated. “It felt like the first time he had called me. It was a fantastic moment, but I’m simply thrilled to be back on the squad with such awesome people and players. “It is exciting.”

Slater is just as excited to have Walsh at camp, noting, “I’ve really liked working with Reece over the last few years. It has been a lengthy trip, and I have enjoyed observing the progress. Not only does he provide fantastic ideas, but he has also elevated his game and now has a solid foundation for his football. I am looking forward to starting work.”

Meanwhile, Queensland bench hooker Harry Grant missed Tuesday’s training session due to sickness, leaving Ben Hunt as the only No. 9. Grant, on the other hand, is confident ahead of the Origin series opening on June 5 in Sydney.

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