Reece Walsh named as starting fullback in Warriors-Cowboys indigenous round clash

By Te Ao - Māori News

Warriors teenage sensation Reece Walsh is back to start in the No 1 jumper for Friday night's Indigenous Round clash against the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.

Karawhiua! The Warriors name their indigenous round side. Source: Facebook / Vodafone Warriors

Nathan Brown has managed to name an unchanged 17-man side, although injuries and suspensions have plagued the team since the start of the season.

Some tweaks have been made, the most significant being Eliesa Katoa and Jack Murchie as the starting second rowers, pushing Ben Murdoch-Masila to the interchange.

Rocco Berry, who was starting as a winger for a few past games, has been named on the reserves for this game.

Though it's the Indigenous Round this week, the club won't be wearing their indigenous jersey due to a design clash. They will, instead, be kitted out in their alternate white strip for their Cowboys matchup.

Ready for Reece

The 18-year-old rookie is now making his third start out of his five appearances for the club, and his stats so far continue to impress.

Since his stellar performance last week against the Tigers, he has claimed three tries, seven try assists, six line breaks, 18 tackles breaks and averages just over 100 metres per game.

The Māori player will be sure to make an impact in the fullback position, where skipper Roger Tuivsasa-Sheck usually plays. Tuivsasa-Sheck will start back out on the wing as Ken Maumalo is ruled out of the game again with an injury. 

Hiku to depart

Centre Peta Hiku also confirmed this week that he is leaving at the season's end to continue his career with the North Queensland Cowboys.

The 28-year-old has been sidelined following a season-ending shoulder surgery, his last appearance being part of a win over the St George Illawarra Dragons on April 18.

Warriors recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan says an offer was made to Hiku but could not match the one from the Cowboys.

“Peta has made a great contribution to the club since coming back home in 2018 and we wish him all the best for the rest of his career.”

Hikua finishes with the Warriors with a total of 67 appearances, including 18 tries.