Broncos reveal Reece Walsh boost after Kevin Walters' backlash to State of Origin call

Reece Walsh has not played for the Broncos since round 12.

Broncos assistant coach Matt Ballin has claimed Reece Walsh is 'animated' and ready for his return to club footy having not played an NRL game since his concussion. Walsh has not played for the Broncos since round 12 having suffered a concussion when playing for the Maroons in State of Origin Game 1.

Walsh missed two games for the Broncos due to his concussion, but played Game 2 for the Maroons in their 38-18 loss to the Blues in Melbourne. The fullback and his teammates endured a tough night against the Blues and many emerged battered and bruised.

Broncos assistant coach Matt Ballin has defended Kevin Walters (pictured left) and claimed Reece Walsh (pictured right) is ready to go against he Panthers. (Getty Images)
Broncos assistant coach Matt Ballin has defended Kevin Walters (pictured left) and claimed Reece Walsh (pictured right) is ready to go against he Panthers. (Getty Images)

This prompted Walters to to rest his Origin players for the clash against the Warriors. Walsh was then revealed to have slightly injured his hand during Origin.

Regardless, Walters copped plenty of backlash for the decision to rest his fullback, Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan in their loss to the Warriors. The Broncos have now lost four times in a row and they have dropped out of the top-eight into 10th spot on the ladder.

This leaves their NRL finals hopes hanging in the balance with reigning champions Penrith visiting on Friday night. Many felt the Broncos couldn't afford to give Walsh, Haas and Carrigan a rest, especially considering they've also been rocked by injuries to Adam Reynolds, Corey Oates and Jordan Riki.

Haas and Carrigan have done plenty of work over the last few months, but many questioned why Walsh didn't play against the Warriors considering he hadn't played in three weeks before Origin 2 in Melbourne. And assistant coach Ballin has defended Walters' decision to rest the Origin players so they can find their best form at the end of the season.

"We are probably not playing our best footy. For some reason, sometimes you just are not playing great footy. We are still making a few errors..." Ballin told SEN Radio on Wednesday having claimed their is room for improvement.

"Kev's pretty adamant that he wants them to play really good footy at the end of the year when it's really important. When they keep playing big minutes, like Payne and Carrigan, Walshy played the whole game. They then can come back and play another game for us and then be worn out at the end of the year.

"We are really aware of that and don't want that to happen. We took the long-term view. It is probably better for them physically and mentally."

Reece Walsh running the ball in State of Origin.
Reece Walsh (pictured) is set to return for the Broncos this week against the Panthers.

Walsh has come under criticism for his recent performance in Origin with fans questioning whether he is the right choice for fullback heading into Game 3. While few would argue Walsh is one of the most talented stars in the game, a lack of game time in recent weeks and a number of injuries may have worked against him.


Although Ballin has lauded Walsh's commitment to the team and claimed the 21-year-old fullback is ready to go against the reigning champions. "He hasn't had a game since he got concussed...he has been animated at training. He is just a live-wire round the team," Ballin said. The Panthers will welcome back a number of Origin stars this week with Liam Martin, Brian To'o, Dylan Edwards and Jarome Luai all named to return.