Alex McKinnon believes Warriors young gun Reece Walsh is “crazy” for turning down the advances of rugby league supremo Wayne Bennett.
The master coach is currently building a roster for the Dolphins inaugural NRL season and the 19-year-old fullback was heavily linked with a move away from the New Zealand side.
Ultimately, Walsh and his management put the rumours to bed by stating they would be travelling back to New Zealand with the Warriors next season when they resume in their Mt Smart base.
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“I’m going to New Zealand next year. My manager and I haven’t even discussed other options because we’ve always known that is the case,” Walsh told Fox Sports.
McKinnon revealed he spoke to Walsh’s manager, Nash Dawson, telling him he believes it would be in the best interests of the fullback to take up Bennett’s offer.
“I was talking to his agent yesterday, who we get along really well with, and he told me that they were going to come out and talk about Reece Walsh committing with the Warriors and that he was going to go to New Zealand,” McKinnon said on the Fox League podcast.
“I said to him you are crazy, I said what do you mean, what do you mean you are going to stay with the Warriors and not go to the Dolphins, I don’t get it.
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“He said no mate, that is what we are going to do, we are going to honour our contract, he will be off contract at the end of 2023, he is really enjoying his time there.”
While it is a huge move to remain with the Warriors and move back to the club’s Auckland base when they eventually move back to New Zealand after the 2022 season, McKinnon believes it says a lot about Walsh’s character.
“I went okay, credit to you guys for doing that, that is massive I think for a young kid to be able to show some resolve and a bit of character in that way, I think it is massive for the Warriors,” McKinnon said.
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