The Warriors will have to wait a little longer to welcome new recruit Reece Walsh into their camp, after a misunderstanding has seen his early exit from the Brisbane Broncos stall.
Reports surfaced earlier in the week stating the star young fullback, signed by the Warriors to replace the outgoing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, had successfully negotiated an early release from the Brisbane club to join the Warriors and could debut for the club sometime in 2021.
Brisbane, who were reportedly "filthy" at losing Walsh to the Warriors, seemed to have organised a player swap for young Warriors back Paul Turner as compensation for letting Walsh go early, however NRL.com reports that move stalled when it emerged that Turner would only be offered a development deal for this season – the same level of contract Walsh is on.
Turner is currently on a full contract with the Warriors, and coach Nathan Brown was hopeful the club could keep him in their ranks as well as get Walsh into camp earlier than anticipated.
"Paulie's manager asked if we'd let Paulie go. I wasn't really keen on that, to be honest with you, I think Paul is a talented player and we'd like to keep him if we could.
"After that situation, which was a few weeks ago, I've been out of the loop to be honest, because I've been preparing for the game. The most I knew next about it was that Reece had been given permission to leave and had said goodbye to his players and left they bubble they're in. I think there was some miscommunication on other ends which, as I said before, I'm not privy to.
"Hopefully, whatever happens, in an ideal world Reece would be here in the next few days and Paulie stays with us. But if Paul chooses that there's a better opportunity for him at Brisbane, that might unfold too."
While Walsh, 18, has been recruited to replace Tuivasa-Sheck at year's end, Brown said it was important for the young star to immerse himself in the club before getting the chance to play for them to get accustomed to the team.
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Should Walsh play for the Warriors during the 2021 season, Brown said that would likely be in the halves as first-choice halfback Chanel Harris-Tavita has already been ruled out for several months with a foot injury.
"Reece has not only played fullback but he's also spent a lot of his [junior] career in the halves as well," Brown said.
"He spent a lot of time at five-eighth before he moved back to fullback. There's obviously his ability to play fullback there as well and back [up] Roger ... But he can also play in the halves. We've got Chanel on a long-term injury there so he can certainly cover more than fullback.
"But the most important thing is being able to train and play with the boys. We get to learn about him and he gets to learn about us. To actually have him here training with his future teammates and hopefully playing a few games allows his development with our club to be far, far smoother."