Walsh returning to Broncos on 3-year deal

Brisbane have signed young fullback Reece Walsh, who will return to the club on a three-year NRL contract from 2023 after securing a release from the Warriors.

Walsh recently split with the mother of his child and approached the Warriors roughly six weeks ago to raise concerns about relocating from Queensland to Auckland when the team returns to its New Zealand base next season.

The Warriors told Walsh they would only approve his release if they first found a replacement fullback for 2023, and only if he were to sign with Brisbane, the club closest to his family members.

When the Warriors signed Canberra's Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad for 2023, Walsh, a Broncos junior, was permitted to sign with the Broncos.

The Warriors will retain Walsh for the remainder of 2022 while they continue to base themselves in Redcliffe and fly back to Auckland for home games.

"Reece's return is great news for everyone at the Broncos and for all our supporters and members - we'll get him back home next year," said Brisbane coach Kevin Walters.

"He's a terrific young footballer and someone who has always belonged in Brisbane so it's fantastic that he is coming back.

"Reece came through the Broncos system from a young age and the club has always considered him to be one of our most promising talents.

"He returns to us with some great NRL experience under his belt and rejoins the club at a time when we are forging something special.

"A number of other emerging players who've come through the Broncos system have also committed long-term to the club in recent times and it's great that Reece has chosen to do the same."

Ryan James says the Broncos playing group is enthusiastic about the Walsh signing, which he considers further proof of the club's roster resurgence.

The Broncos have drawn criticism in recent seasons for struggling to hold onto highly-rated young prospects, losing the likes of Walsh, Sam Walker, David Fifita and Tom Dearden, all of whom were Brisbane juniors who flourished after defecting to rival clubs after 2019.

Brisbane are now in the midst of their most promising season since, thanks in no small part to the astute recruitments of semior players Adam Reynolds and Kurt Capewell.

The Broncos have also re-signed elite local talents Selwyn Cobbo and Patrick Carrigan.

"They're starting to build a really good-looking roster for next year. If you're a Broncos fan, you should be excited," James said.

"We know how good of a talent (Walsh) is. He's a young fella and he just adds to the depth of the squad. He's a great player."