Warriors confirm Reece Walsh wants to quit club for 2023

Source: 1News

The Warriors have confirmed young star Reece Walsh's desire to leave the club at the end of the season while announcing his apparent replacement in returning fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.

The struggling Kiwi NRL club announced Wednesday Walsh "had indicated his wish to stay in Australia" after reports surfaced Tuesday evening of his desire to avoid a fulltime return to Auckland with a shift back to the Brisbane Broncos.

The exit is a change of heart from earlier this season when the 19-year-old denied reports circling then of his wishes to leave.

"I’ve only just started playing footy again and to be honest I haven’t even thought about what’s going to happen next year or the year after," he said at the time.

"Is pretty easy for my family to look past those sort of comments."

Warriors CEO Cameron George, who will speak to media on Wednesday morning following the news, said Walsh's circumstances have since changed.

A dejected Reece Walsh at the end of the defeat to South Sydney.

"There has been a major change in Reece’s personal circumstances in the past two months which have impacted on his ability to move to Auckland with the club next season," he said in Wednesday's statement.

"We’re working through his situation and have given him permission, with some conditions, to look at options in Brisbane.

"It’s not the way either Reece or the club had wanted this to play out but we respect the issues he has."

Walsh has made 30 appearances for the club since joining last season but has quickly become one of their best, earning selection for State of Origin with Queensland.

To some relief for Warriors fans, a replacement has already been lined up in the return of 26-year-old Raiders star Nicoll-Klokstad who will back at Mt Smart Stadium for the 2023 season.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad scores a try for the Raiders as Reece Walsh looks on.

"Having Charnze back with the Warriors is going to be tremendous for us as a club and also for him personally," George said.

"He brings undoubted qualities as one of the best fullbacks in the game as well as so much off the field as a wonderful young man.

"He’s so excited about coming back to the Warriors, being home and being closer to his family."

Nicoll-Klokstad burst on to the scene in 2017 with seven tries in his rookie season but struggled for game time the following year as he pursued the No.1 jersey while Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was still at the club, ultimately leading to his departure for the Raiders in 2019.

Since, he has scored 23 tries in 66 matches for the Raiders while averaging 158 metres a game.