NRL called out over ugly Reece Walsh development amid Magic Round disaster

The NRL has been hit with another superstar name ruled out of Magic Round.

Reece Walsh is the latest star to be ruled out of Magic Round as the NRL has come under pressure to rethink the scheduling of the Brisbane event after the competition goes through an injury crisis with other big names such as Nathan Cleary and Kalyn Ponga missing. After 10 rounds of the NRL, the game heads to Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane with most teams set to play across three days.

Fans flock north to watch their team in the rugby league festival, but many viewers will be left somewhat disappointed their favourite player might not be taking part. The NRL has announced all three days are sold out for the round with 140,000 fans set to celebrate in Brisbane. This will reportedly earn around $40 million for Brisbane tourism. But fans have been left waiting to see who their team will name after injury carnage hitting most clubs.

Reece Walsh (pictured right) is the latest big name ruled out of Magic Round with Nathan Cleary (pictured left) already missing. (Getty Images)
Reece Walsh (pictured right) is the latest big name ruled out of Magic Round with Nathan Cleary (pictured left) already missing. (Getty Images)

However, the injury crisis hitting the NRL has continued with Broncos fullback, and arguably the biggest drawcard for the home fans, being ruled out with a knee injury only hours before the start of the showpiece. The game's premier halfback won't be playing for the Panthers with Cleary out for the Origin series after hurting his troublesome hamstring once again. Ponga was ruled out for 12 weeks earlier in the season after an ugly foot injury.

And the injuries to the big names have not stopped from round one. Mitchell Moses isn't set to return until after Round 11, while Adam Reynolds will not feature for the Broncos. Nicho Hynes has been named, but remains a doubt having only just returned to training.

Warriors superstar Shaun Johnson won't feature after injuring his shoulder in the game against the Roosters last week. Roger Tuivasa-Scheck is also out prompting a reshuffle of the Warriors backline. The Rabbitohs will be missing captain Cameron Murray and a whole host of players, while the Melbourne Storm miss superstar Ryan Papenhuyzen after he fractured a small bone in his right ankle.

Nathan Cleary injured.
Nathan Cleary (pictured) is just one of a number of huge names missing Magic Round.

And Manly will be without superstar fullback Tom Trbojevic for around six to eight weeks after going down injured with a hamstring injury last week. And the injury list prompted reporter Dave Riccio to suggest, on SEN Radio, the NRL needs to rethink when to schedule arguably the biggest round, outside of the finals, during the tournament.

A suggestion could be to move the round earlier in the season, but this could fall too close to the new Las Vegas round, which will see four teams travel to the US. It would also mean more travel. Fans have already claimed the injury toll has put a dampener on the round, which has often been one of the highlights of the season.

NRL teams could also force a reshuffle of Magic Round next year with the Manly Sea Eagles leading the charge of not playing their home game at Suncorp. Manly have raised issues around being at disadvantage in Magic Round each year, playing at the Broncos' home ground.

Manly reportedly told head office they will not renew their deal to play a 'home' game in Brisbane next year. They have had hosting rights since 2018. Canberra and Wests Tigers are also considering their plans, with no deal signed yet beyond 2024. For the Raiders, a decision is likely to hinge on whether they are taken to Las Vegas at the start of the 2025 season.

The Tigers are considering their entire stadium strategy for next year, with a decision to be made next month. While Manly agreed to play in Brisbane when it was financially beneficial, crowds at Brookvale are getting better and they might change their mind. "At the time, because we had dwindling crowds in home games, it was a really good financial outcome," Manly CEO Tony Mestrov said.


"That's not the case at the moment, with three out of four home games sold out this year." Manly's board will consider whether to play 12 regular-season games at Brookvale next year for the first time since 2005, or move up to two matches to neutral venues. The NRL pays clubs around $350,000 a year to move a home game to Magic Round.

with AAP