Broncos captain Adam Reynolds has disclosed that he had a thorough conversation with Reece Walsh regarding the need to control his emotions on the field. This conversation comes in the wake of Walsh’s suspension and the potential disruption it could cause the team’s finals campaign. The 20-year-old Queensland prodigy will be absent for the next three games due to his use of explicit language during Brisbane’s loss to the Gold Coast. Walsh asserts that his words were aimed at teammate Pat Carrigan rather than referee Chris Butler.
Despite standing by Walsh’s version of events, Reynolds felt it was important to speak with the young fullback to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future. Reynolds emphasised that the language used, regardless of the target, was unacceptable and not reflective of the team’s values. Reynolds and Walsh have a positive relationship and communicate well, but the incident sounded worse due to the microphone picking up the conversation. Reynolds acknowledged that Walsh is passionate and competitive, traits he appreciates in his players. However, he believes that Walsh needs to improve his language and sees this as a valuable lesson for the young player.
As a result of his suspension, Walsh will be unavailable for the third State of Origin clash for Queensland. This opens up the opportunity for other players to compete for the fullback position. AJ Brimson, who represented the Maroons in 2020 and performed well, was selected as the 18th man for Game II. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, a dynamic center for the Dolphins, has also showcased his abilities in the No.1 jersey this season. Additionally, Cameron Munster has experience playing fullback at the Origin level, which could potentially pave the way for Tom Dearden, the standout player in last year’s Game III, or other contenders to vie for the position.
Brimson’s journey back to the highest level of rugby league has been filled with challenges. He suffered two separate hamstring tears in 2023, which caused concerns for Titans coach Justin Holbrook about his ability to remain in the physically demanding fullback position. Holbrook even considered moving Brimson to a less demanding position to mitigate the risk of further injuries and keep him on the field. However, Brimson adapted his training regimen and focused on strengthening his injured groin to maintain his role as a fullback. According to Maroons prop Moeaki Fotuaika, Brimson has made significant progress in this regard and has been one of the team’s best players upon his return from injury.
In summary, Broncos skipper Adam Reynolds has discussed the importance of emotional control with Reece Walsh following his suspension. Walsh’s absence will impact the team’s finals campaign, but Reynolds supports his teammate while recognising the need for improvement. With Walsh out, the fullback position for the Maroons is up for grabs, with players like Brimson, Tabuai-Fidow, Munster, and Dearden in contention. Brimson has overcome injury concerns to solidify his status as a fullback, impressing his teammates with his performance upon return.