NRL 2021: NZ Warriors coach Nathan Brown pumps brakes on Reece Walsh playing State of Origin

NZ Warriors coach Nathan Brown has stated that he doesn't want to see teen sensation Reece Walsh in a Queensland jersey just yet, after State of Origin icon Wally Lewis threw the youngster's name into the mix.

Walsh, 18, was named by Lewis - arguably the greatest player to don a Maroons jersey - after a string of eye-catching performances for the Warriors, asked about who should replace Melbourne Storm star Cameron Munster in the Queensland No.6 jersey.

Lewis wasn't alone in the calls to elevate Walsh into State of Origin either, with fellow Queensland legend Billy Moore another to endorse the Warriors' teen.

Coach Brown though says that he'd prefer to see Walsh develop more at NRL level, before he steps up into State of Origin.

"Personally, I'd like to not see Reece play Origin at this time of his career," Brown says. 

"He's so young and he's only played a handful of games in the last two years. But in saying that, people like Wally Lewis and Billy Moore, they've achieved far more than me at that level.

"I wasn't good enough to get there and those two played a thousand games and did it well. So they certainly understand State of Origin a lot better than Nathan Brown because they've been right at the coalface.

"It's great they're talking about him and hopefully Reece just continues to grow and develop with us, and over time those things I'm sure will come his way."

But Brown does support the idea of Walsh being part of the Queensland set-up, giving him the chance to learn from some of rugby league's all-time greats.

"If Paul Green [Queensland coach] saw Reece as a long-term Origin prospect, him going and spending time with Origin players and, in particular, Billy Slater's always in there - he's in the top couple of players in the history of the game in that position. 

"Those things only benefit a player."

Walsh has been named to wear the Warriors' No.1 jersey for the first time on Friday night, as the Kiwi side face North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.

Join Newshub for live updates of the Warriors v Cowboys clash from 8pm Friday.