New Zealand Warriors' star fullback Reece Walsh and his management have reportedly begun conversations with the Dolphins.
While NRL rules would require Walsh to need clearance from the Warriors to negotiate before the final year of his contract - which is next year - reports from Triple M's Ben Dobbin suggest Walsh doesn't want to go to New Zealand in 2023.
The Warriors will be based in Redcliffe during most of, if not all of, the 2022 season. New Zealand's international border remains shut and while it will open to Australian travellers in July, that will come with a quarantine period which simply won't work for NRL teams.
While discussions remain open between the NRL and New Zealand government as to whether the Warriors will be able to host five home games in the country at the back end of the year, the chance appears slim.
Walsh has a young family and is reportedly unwilling to travel to Auckland, preferring to stay in Queensland during the 2023 season.
He has a player option for 2024, meaning he would need the Warriors' blessing and a release to play elsewhere in 2023, but could do so in 2024.
It was reported yesterday by Scott Sattler on SEN that the Warriors wouldn't be willing to let Walsh leave the club, with one source using the term "over our dead body."
However, Dobbin reports Walsh's management have begun conversations with Queensland-based clubs.
“That is very true (he wants out), but where he lands ... Brisbane made a commitment to keep Tesi Niu. They are all-in on Tesi Niu at the present moment and very happy with how he’s going,” he said on Triple M’s The Rush Hour.
“Reece Walsh left when he had the first opportunity, and that hasn’t been any way forgotten by Brisbane. Yes, he’s a great player, but isn’t it funny that there’s a new side next year called the Dolphins? And wouldn’t they love - they’re not gonna get Kalyn Ponga - but wouldn’t he be ready-made to wear the No.1 jersey for the Dolphins?
“I’m hearing they’re having conversations, I’m hearing that Dolphins and Reece Walsh’s management have had conversations, and if there’s to be in any way a parting of the ways - because he’s got family here, he’s got a child here that he has to see, he doesn’t want to go over to New Zealand and not see his child.
“That would be a place for him if he doesn’t re-sign with the Broncos, the Dolphins would be a great landing spot.”
The Titans were also thrown up as a possible option in the initial reports on Monday, however, that would seem unlikely given Jayden Campbell, AJ Brimson and Toby Sexton are the current spine at the club and all locked into long-term deals.
this is straight BS! , you sign a contract until the end of 2023 for a new zealand based team thats playing out of australia at the moment , i remember hearing him say how he can’t wait to go over there now a total back flip lmao this dude is ridiculous , sometimes we have to make sacrifices , anytime a player doesn’t want to oblige the contract anymore they ask for leave on compassionate grounds , and finding another genuine fullback right now is near impossible , hope the warriors stay firm with this decision
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