Queensland Maroons coach Billy Slater has weighed in on the Storm’s desperate search for an outside back, urging the Warriors to agree to let departing fullback Reece Walsh join the Melbourne side for the remainder of 2022.

Walsh was named on the bench for this weekend’s loss to the Raiders and many are seeing the move as confirmation that he won’t return to the No.1 jersey for the Warriors before his move to Brisbane at the end of the season.

Meanwhile the media cycle went into overdrive this week following reports that the depleted Melbourne Storm were trying to arrange a deal that would see Walsh play the remainder of the season in Victoria as they try to resurrect their campaign.

Craig Bellamy’s team are desperately trying to address a growing injury problem that most recently saw Ryan Papenhuyzen ruled out for the rest of the year. Other outside backs including Xavier Coates, George Jennings and Reimis Smith have also been long-term absentees.

“I think it would be a fantastic fit for both parties,” Slater told Nine’s Sunday Footy Show.

“Melbourne could utilise Reece Walsh, and I think Reece could benefit from going down to Melbourne. The Warriors could even capitalize on some cap space for next year.

“I think it’s a really smart move. It would help everyone – especially Melbourne.”

The grounds for Walsh’s demotion weren’t entirely clear before or after the Warriors capitulated in Canberra. Walsh was replaced by Chanel Harris-Tavita, who is also leaving the club at the end of the year, albeit to take a sabbatical from the game rather than leave for a rival.