NRL 2022: Reece Walsh released from Warriors, set to join Brisbane Broncos | Daily Telegraph
Brisbane are expected to land a coup within days by securing Warriors star Reece Walsh
after the New Zealand club landed Canberra fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.
Walsh will quit the club at the end of the season after requesting a release on Tuesday.
Walsh has only been given permission to negotiate with the Broncos as part of that release.
The NRL’s player movement has heated up with Nicoll-Klokstad being released from the final year of his deal at the Raiders on compassionate grounds to link up with the Warriors from 2023.
Walsh is expected to do granted the same wish as Nicoll-Klokstad’s impending arrival now casts fresh concerns over the playing future of Walsh.
The Warriors are also closing in on Andrew Webster
as the club’s long-term coach.
Brisbane are leading the chase to land his signature as they look to bring Walsh back to the club. An announcement is expected this week.
The Dolphins have previously shown an interest in Walsh but it is understood the Broncos are his likely destination.
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Reece Walsh, Brisbane Broncos training, Red Hills. Photographer: Liam Kidston
Walsh has 12 months left of his Warriors contract with an option in his favour for 2024. The fullback was at the centre of a tug-of-war between the Warriors and the Broncos for his signature last year.
He was granted an early release from the Broncos in April last year after originally agreeing to join the Warriors from 2022. The New Zealand club viewed Walsh as their long-term replacement for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
But now he seems destined to return to the Broncos having already played 30 games for the Warriors.
Walsh was set to make his Origin debut last year but was ruled out on the eve of the game. He missed New Zealand’s homecoming last week because of Covid-19.
Where will Reece Walsh be playing in 2023?
A Warriors source confirmed Walsh wants out of the club.
“Reece asked for a release a few weeks ago,” he said.
“He has said he is homesick. He has recently separated from his partner and he wants to remain in Brisbane to be close to his young daughter.
“Deep down he would love to go back to the Broncos but I don’t know if Brisbane can afford him.
“The Dolphins are also an option for Reece but I think his preference is to go to the Broncos.
“We haven’t given him a release yet but I believe it will happen in the next few days.”
Walsh also addressed his future last week while in Origin camp.
“I enjoyed my time at the Broncos,” he said. “I came through there and I was only in the NRL system for a couple of months. I made a lot of good friendships there and I’m in camp now with (Broncos trio) Corey Oates, Tom Flegler and Pat Carrigan.
“I have a lot of good mates there and I’m happy the Broncos are going well.
“Right now, I am focused on the Warriors ... they have been good to me.”
The Raiders were reluctant to allow Nicoll-Klokstad out of the final year of his deal but have done so to enable the 26-year-old to return to his family in New Zealand.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is set to leave Canberra with a year left on his contract. Picture: Mark Nolan/Getty
Canberra resurrected his career after he signed with the club having played just seven first grade games at the Warriors. It is understood he told his teammates of his move on Tuesday.
Nicoll-Klokstad played a leading part in Canberra’s grand final run in 2019 and made his Kiwi Test debut at the end of that season.
He has struggled with injury this year and is locked in a battle for the starting fullback spot with rising star Xaiver Savage. Savage is locked in until the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the Warriors remain in discussions with Panthers assistant Webster to take over coaching at the club from next season.
Webster is the club’s top target having spent two seasons as an assistant coach at the club.