NZ Warriors coach Nathan Brown has hailed the impact of teen sensation Reece Walsh, after his NRL debut in Sunday's 42-20 loss to Melbourne Storm.
Walsh, 18, was thrust into the Warriors side for the traditional ANZAC Day encounter in Melbourne, playing at fullback in place of club captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Any doubts over risking Walsh in such a key position at such a young age were very quickly brushed aside, with the teenager showing why he's one of the most-hyped Warriors signings in recent years.
Of the Warriors' four tries, Reece assisted two of them - including a kick to put winger Ken Maumalo through for a hat-trick.
Walsh also ran 98 metres, made a linebreak assist and two tackles, and threw two offloads, and while he wasn't perfect, he showed enough for Warriors fans to be positive about the future.
The performance will no doubt see Walsh in line for a greater taste of the NRL in 2021, after he was expected to play understudy to Tuivasa-Sheck for the rest of the year, before the Warriors captain returns to rugby union in 2022.
"We could see Reece's talent there today," Brown said afterwards. "He's obviously a very talented kid and he's got speed.
"He's got a lot of work to do on his game obviously and he's only young, but any player who has [two] try assists against Melbourne Storm is good, let alone on debut, when you're 18.
"He's a good, young kid, and he's been well raised by his mum and dad. He's got a bit of confidence about him, but he's a respectful kid.
"It's quite obvious that he's got a lot of talent. He's got a long way to go in his game, but it's quite clear he's a player we'll all probably see a fair bit of."
Walsh will be in line to star for the Warriors again, when they take on North Queensland Cowboys on Sunday.
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