Walsh officially becomes a Bronco, Brooks rants about Tigers leaks, Blues calls Townsend

It is official. Reece Walsh returns to the Broncos.

The 19-year-old signed a three-year deal on Thursday after telling the Warriors he wanted to move on.

“The return of Reece is great news for everyone in the Broncos and for all of our supporters and members – we’ll be bringing him home next year,” said Broncos coach Kevin Walters.

“He’s a great young footballer and someone who has always belonged in Brisbane so it’s fantastic to see him going back to where he belongs.

“Reece came through the Broncos system at a young age and the club has always viewed him as one of our most promising talents.

“He returns to us with some great NRL experiences and rejoins the club at a time when we are forging something special.”

It’s a bitter pill for the warriors who have been flying high after returning home. It’s also disappointing news for the Dolphins, who were in line to chase Walsh’s signature.

Andrew Johns believes the Broncos can now push for a Premier League with their recent signing.

“This is huge for the Broncos versus the Dolphins – because you can imagine that if someone said two weeks ago, ‘I hear a rumor that Reece Walsh is getting out of the Warriors,’ you would just be like, ‘Oh, that he’ll do the Dolphins but he’s decided to go to Brisbane,” Andrew Johns said on Wide World of Sports.

Brooks fumes over leaks

Wests Tigers five-eighth Luke Brooks is furious over the constant leaks at the club, which led to speculation he would recently be dropped.

Brooks has held his position ahead of Saturday night’s clash with Parramatta, despite hinting he would be dumped ahead of last week’s trip to Auckland.

Adam Doueihi was picked at center in his first follow-up game since returning from the bench after suffering a cruciate ligament rupture.

“I’ve seen it. It was quite disappointing that it came out in the media and in the end it obviously wasn’t true,” Brooks said.

“I think it came from a place where it probably shouldn’t have been and that’s what’s frustrating about this club at times, a few stories get leaked and I think it comes from people much higher up are than we.

“In the end, of course, it didn’t happen because I played. It’s just another thing (that happens at the club)… what can you do?”

Brooks, halfback Jackson Hastings and Doueihi will end their contracts at the end of next year and will be able to negotiate with opposing clubs for 2024 from November 1st.

“Personally, I think his best position is five eighths,” Brooks said of Doueihi.

“But when he played in the middle, he did really well there. He’s a ball runner. If we can get his hands on the ball as often as possible, that’s his biggest threat.”

Brooks has the richest deal of the three, reportedly making $950,000 this year. Despite being linked with a move to Newcastle earlier in the season, he said he would not make any decisions about his future until the Tigers appointed a new head coach.

“All these contract things will be put on hold until the club gets a coach,” he said.

Following Maguire’s sacking earlier this year, the Tigers named Brett Kimmorley as head coach for the remainder of the season, but Kristian Woolf, Andrew Webster and Shane Flanagan have all been earmarked as possible replacements for 2023 and beyond.

Tigers' Luke Brooks in action

(Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Townsend called at Blues Camp

North Queensland Cowboys playmaker Chad Townsend has been called up to the NSW extended squad after Nicho Hynes tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The Cronulla halfback met with the squad in Sydney earlier in the week and was set to join them at camp at Kingscliff after the Sharks’ game against Melbourne on Thursday.

However, Hynes returned a positive result on a RAT ahead of Wednesday morning’s training session, with the Sharks sending him for a PCR test.

He has since returned a positive PCR result alongside Sharks teammate Toby Rudolf.

“Nicho stayed in Sydney, we met at the hotel (earlier in the week) and didn’t travel with the team at all,” NSW manager Brad Fittler told 2GB.

“The COVID-19 protocols allow them to go back to their clubs and have a captaincy run.

“We’re thinking (we’re calling) Chad Townsend. Since the cowboys aren’t playing, he’s dying to come inside. This is great news (for Chad) and he was in great shape.”

Hynes was not expected to play in next week’s decider after being named in the No 19 shirt, with Townsend expected to fill that role.

Hynes was dropped from Cronulla’s game, and Braydon Trindall was selected to take his place alongside Matt Moylan in the halves.

Chad Townsend passes

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Dogs debutant recovers

Canterbury rookie Declan Casey was relieved of serious injuries after leaving the field in a medi-cab with a concussion on Saturday and could feature in their next game for the Bulldogs.

On his debut in Canterbury’s 18-6 defeat by Cronulla, the 22-year-old center knocked himself out trying to overpower veteran Andrew Fifita in wet conditions

The game was suspended for almost five minutes while Casey lay on the ground and after leaving the field in a medi-cab, he was rushed to Westmead Hospital where he underwent a CT scan.

Casey was discharged from hospital that night and was able to return to the Bulldogs’ lineup in Round 18 when the team plays their next game against South Sydney.

“Declan Casey was cleared of any spinal injuries following a precautionary post-game hospital examination,” the Bulldogs said.

“He will be doing mandatory concussion protocols to be able to play again.”

Casey struggled to adapt to the wet conditions on the debut but could still have another chance to prove himself as Corey Allan, the man he replaced in the starting XI, will be sidelined for around a month with a groin injury.

Barnstorming forward Tevita Pangai will miss the Rabbitohs game after tearing a muscle near his Achilles tendon in the loss to Cronulla.

He is on course to return against Gold Coast the following week.

“Scans showed a tear in the plantaris tendon, which lies adjacent to the Achilles tendon,” the Bulldogs said.

“Pangai Junior will keep running when the pain subsides.” Walsh officially becomes a Bronco, Brooks rants about Tigers leaks, Blues calls Townsend

Nate Jones

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