Paul Gallen takes fresh swipe at Nate Myles over 'ridiculous' Origin claim about Reece Walsh

The former Blues captain hasn't held back after taking exception to some Origin comments.

Former Blues captain Paul Gallen has questioned his long-time rival Nate Myles over a 'Reece Walsh theory' that emerged after the Maroons assistant coach appeared to take a swipe at Blues centre Joseph Suaalii. A war-of-words has erupted since the drama of the series opener after Suaalii flattened Reece Walsh with a head-high shot that ruled the fullback out of the rest of the game.

Suaalii was sent off in the seventh minute and footage showed former player and assistant coach Myles giving the Blues youngster a spray. Since announcing the Game 2 squad, Maguire warned Queenslanders about living in "glass houses", following their response to Suaalii's send off in Game 1.

Nate Myles, Reece Walsh and Paul Gallen on the footy field.
Nate Myles, Reece Walsh and Paul Gallen. Image: Getty

And Gallen has also weighed-in on the debate and taken exception at former rival Myles. Gallen and Myles shared a fiery rivalry in the Origin arena with the pair infamously coming to blows in 2013. And Gallen has questioned the Maroons over what he believes is a 'ridiculous' claim.

Nate Myles speaks to Joseph Suaalii and Paul Gallen speaks.
Former Blues captain Paul Gallen (pictured) has questioned his long-time rival Nate Myles over a 'Reece Walsh theory' that emerged after Joseph Suaalii (pictured left) was sent off in Game 1. (Images: Fox Sports/Channel Nine)

After Suaalii's send-off, the tactics of the Blues were questioned. NRL legend Jonathan Thurston called out the Blues for putting a target on Walsh's back, while Myles doubled down and claimed the Blues got it horribly wrong. Myles and Gallen met at a lunch last week and Gallen has blasted the idea that the Blues were attempting to take Walsh out of the game with unfair play.

"I feel like he was alluding to the fact NSW went out there to take Reece Walsh out," Gallen said on Channel Nine's 100% Footy. "He didn't say those words exactly so don't quote me on saying that but he was alluding to it in my opinion and I think it's absolutely ridiculous to think in this day and age anybody would go out on the field and use foul play to take anyone out of the game,"

"I've been involved in the game for more than 25 years now and not once in my entire time of NRL have I ever had a coach, manager, trainer or another player say let's go out and get this bloke and do something to him to take him out of the game.

"Particularly the way the game is refereed and ruled these days, how many cameras there are, (it) is absolutely insane (to think that), so I really hope the Queensland coaching staff wouldn't be thinking that."

Reece Walsh walks off the field.
Reece Walsh (pictured) was ruled out of Game 1 after a high-shot.

While former players are arguing over the Blues' tactics on Walsh, New South Wales second rower Liam Martin has claimed the players will not hold back in Game 2. “I treat it the exact same. It doesn’t change,” he said.

“He’s such a key for them, so we’ll be going after him. We’re not intentionally going there to get him. It’s part of the game. Nothing will change. It is a fine line because it’s a game of the barest margins. If someone falls and you clip them high, otherwise it would’ve been a good shot. You try to be physical, and while accidents happen, you try your best to not put yourself and others in those situations.”

Martin said the Blues have not gone out to make an unfair play, but pointed out the Maroons will also be looking to make their impact felt on his teammates during the must-win Game 2. “I try not to buy into it too much so I block out that noise,” he said.

“I’m sure they’re going after a few of our boys like we’re going after some of theirs. It’s just footy. You’re never there to intentionally hurt anyone or injure them. You hate seeing people like that, and after the game you just hope he (Walsh) pulled up all right.”

After the series opener, Myles doubled down on his frustration when it came to the Suaalii incident. "Suaalii got it wrong and... it's not a good look for the game," Myles said. "Controlled aggression is key now. Controlled aggression isn't hitting the right spot every time, it's what you do on every play. A good side sticks to their tactics and doesn't get it wrong. That play on Reece out the back, they didn't get it right."

Walsh has been sidelined since the incident but was on Monday named in Billy Slater's QLD side for Game 2 at the MCG on June 26. That will mark Walsh's return to action after he missed Brisbane's last two games as part of the NRL's 11-day stand down period for concussions.

As long as he passes final tests in Maroons camp, Walsh will take the field against NSW in Game 2 and Slater says he's been in constant contact with Walsh to check on his progress. "I have been talking to Reece over the last week and he has been ticking all the boxes and being really professional away from playing," the Maroons coach told the Nine Network.

Joseph Sua'ali'i sent off.
Joseph-Aukuso Sua'ali'i (pictured right) was sent off for the Blues in Game 1 for a tackle on Reece Walsh.

Slater was interviewed on NRL 360 on Monday night after the Game 2 team selection and asked by The Australian's Brent Read for his response to the apparent shot from Maguire with the 'glass houses' comment. But the Maroons coach gave the veteran league journalist absolutely nothing.


"Nah. I purposely didn’t comment on that incident if you listen to the press conference... I think you might need to check my comments." When the interview finished, the NRL 360 panel commented on the awkwardness of the exchange between Slater and Read, who insisted that the Maroons coach had made comments widely accepted to be aimed at Maguire.

“I wasn’t having a go at Billy, I was giving him the opportunity to respond to Madge... I assumed he had seen the comments from Madge but obviously he hasn’t seen them," Read said. "I’m sure if he had seen them we would have got a different reaction out of him because Madge made the glass houses comments and everyone assumed they were directed at Billy."