Rugby league: New Zealand Warriors star Reece Walsh banned from home state with injury
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Warriors star full-back Reece Walsh will miss his home state debut on Sunday after suffering hamstring strain during training with the Queensland squad.
The 18-year-old prodigy reportedly stopped during the captain’s run and had to pass a fitness test before Origin’s clash on Sunday night in order to feature in the game. However, when the 19-man squad was announced for Saturday night’s game, Walsh was left out.
In a statement, Queensland confirmed Walsh’s injury and that his home state debut would have to wait.
Queensland Maroons player Reece Walsh has been ruled out of the State of Origin game tomorrow night after sustaining a hamstring injury.
“Walsh needed treatment during the captain’s run at Suncorp Stadium and unfortunately will not be able to make his Maroons debut,” the statement said.
Cronulla Sharks winger Ronaldo Mulitalo will now make his Origin debut for Queensland.
Mulitalo is expected to play on the wing, with North Queensland Cowboys star Valentine Holmes advancing to fullback.
The injury is a cause for concern for the Maroons, who brought Walsh to the squad after several other players were excluded with injuries. It will also be of great concern to the Warriors, who have noted on several occasions since acquiring Walsh that they are not trying to squeeze the 18-year-old.
Warriors consultant Phil Gould criticized Queensland’s decision to select Walsh, calling it “disgracefully weak”. He said it was irresponsible to call on the teenage star to solve Queensland’s problems, especially after being beaten 50-6 in the first game.
“[It’s] typical of every young Queenslander to ride. This is what they want to do; they want to play for Queensland. Reece Walsh same [would’ve] had the idea of having his bag packed and ready to walk to Queensland if needed to play for the Mighty Maroons, ”Gould said on Channel Nine’s 100% Footy.
“We wish him well. No one at the Warriors club was denying him the opportunity if it came up for him. Everyone was just worried about his well-being and whether it was the right thing to do. fit into a team, especially this Queensland team right now. “