Interim coach Stacey Jones says departing fullback Reece Walsh will return to the Warriors’ starting side before the season is out, provided he can address inconsistencies in his defensive game.
Walsh is finishing the season with the Warriors before joining Brisbane and has been dropped to the bench for Saturday’s game against Canberra.
“Reece has got a lot to learn about the game but he’s got so much talent,” Jones said.
“It was a tough decision to make on a kid who gives his all.
“I’m sure Reece will bounce back and get back into the team at some stage.”
Chanel-Harris Tavita impressed Jones playing fullback in the round 16 win over the Wests Tigers, which Walsh missed through COVID-19 protocols.
The match marked the only time this season the Warriors conceded no tries.
“It certainly made (the decision) a little bit easier knowing that I had a guy who can play that position and do it with some confidence and do it how the team wants it,” Jones said.
Jones said he needed Walsh to emulate Harris-Tavita’s defence – aged only 20, Walsh is undersized compared to most fullbacks and has missed more tackles this year than any other first-choice player in the position.
“The main thing around that is that we’re looking for a more consistent performance at the back,” Jones said.
“More around defence, where (Harris-Tavita) works hard and gets the numbers right. Reece can learn from that.”
Warriors captain Tohu Harris said Walsh remained upbeat despite his omission from the starting side.
“He came out and trained really well today,” he said.
“He’s still got lots to learn. The consistent grind of the NRL is something he will learn with time and age.
“But he’s responded to what’s happened really well.”