Having been benched in favour of fellow future departure Chanel Harris-Tavita, the drums are beating loudly that Reece Walsh may request an early release from the New Zealand Warriors, and follow in Tevita Pangai Junior's footsteps by signing a short-term deal with a contender.

Walsh signed a three-year deal with Brisbane starting in 2023, a move made in order to be closer to his partner and young family. However with seven games to play in 2022, the whispers are getting louder that the Melbourne Storm may try and sign the fullback for the remainder of the season.

The Storm have been luckless on the casualty front in 2022, with Ryan Papenhuyzen joining the likes of Christian Welch, George Jennings and Reimis Smith by picking up a season-ending injury.

While Nick Meaney is a more than capable replacement for 'Paps', Walsh's arrival would allow Meaney to remain on the wing and strengthen the Melbourne attack, as well as providing a consistent goal-kicking option for Craig Bellamy's side.

The move would be somewhat ironic for Walsh, who actually made his NRL debut against the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park last year after securing a release from Brisbane because he wasn't playing fullback for the NRL side. Did somebody say deja vu?

Pangai Junior did the same last season. Having already signed with Canterbury for 2022 and beyond, Tevita secured an early release from Brisbane to join the Penrith Panthers on their 'home stretch', only missing the Grand Final through injury.

Bellamy has admitted he may need to hit the open market after yet another injury struck the playing group, opening the door for Walsh to make a two month cameo in purple.

If Walsh's move into the 14 jersey looks to be a more permanent switch for the remainder of 2022, it could leave the custodian scrambling to get out quick, a move Melbourne would certain jump at, especially due to the late-point in the season meaning they could get the 20 year-old for less than $150,000.

The August 1 deadline for mid-season moves is less than a fortnight away, with clubs clambering to get pen to paper and fill their rosters before the cut off date, and the Melbourne Storm will be no different. It seems the ball is well and truly in the Warriors' court now.