‘I’m not scared’: Superstar Walsh vows to give it all he’s got in Origin clash

Reece Walsh has vowed he won’t be gun shy in game two of the State of Origin series and revealed he had forgiven Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii for the high shot that rubbed him out of game one.

Jun 18, 2024, updated Jun 18, 2024
Reece Walsh with fans during a Queensland Maroons media day at the Toowoomba Sports Ground. (AAP Image/Darren England)

Reece Walsh with fans during a Queensland Maroons media day at the Toowoomba Sports Ground. (AAP Image/Darren England)

The Maroons fullback was treated like a rock star by fans in Toowoomba on Tuesday where he trained strongly ahead of Wednesday week’s showdown with NSW at the MCG.

Walsh, 21, was concussed in the seventh minute of Queensland’s 38-10 win in Sydney after a high shot by Suaalii, who was sent off.

Speaking for the first time about the incident, Walsh said he does not hold a grudge against the Blues centre who was suspended for four weeks.

“That’s footy. It is what comes with the sport,” Walsh said.

“He sent me a nice message and I sent him a nice one back too. At the end of the day you want to represent your state with pride and do whatever you can for your team. Things happen.”

Walsh plays with a bold and brash style and with plenty of toughness. He said that wouldn’t change in game two.

“If I had any doubts or was scared I wouldn’t pull on the Queensland jersey,” Walsh said.

“I know how much it means to the people of Queensland and past players. They need a team that is willing to put their body on the line and do whatever for their state. If I was scared or shy in any way I would pull myself out.”

Walsh missed two NRL games for Brisbane due to the mandatory 11-day stand down for concussion but said he felt fine now. He was just happy that Billy Slater picked him at fullback again after Maroons centre Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow switched to No.1 in Sydney and scored a hat-trick.

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“I knew I had the protocols to go through and there was a bit of persuading with Bill to get my job back because Hammer killed it,”‘ Walsh said.

“That was a bit tough but I just had to tick all the boxes. I am grateful for Bill giving me the opportunity.”

Walsh and Tabuai-Fidow, who will switch back to centre in Melbourne, intend to combine in attack in what looms as a deadly combination.

“Hammer is phenomenal with what he brings to a footy team,’ Walsh said.

“You can’t coach speed and it is hard to go up against speed. I am just glad he is in my team and I can use his skills and back him up. I know he is going to do the same for me.”

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