Detail in Reece Walsh photo emerges after backlash against Kevin Walters over Broncos move

A photo has emerged on social media that sheds more light on the major talking point.

A new social media post from renowned 'NRL Physio' Brien Seeney has shed light on the Reece Walsh situation at the Broncos that sparked backlash against coach Kevin Walters. The Brisbane coach came under fire for deciding to rest Walsh, Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan after State of Origin Game 2, with the Broncos then going down 32-16 to the Warriors in the NRL on Saturday.

It was the Broncos' fourth consecutive defeat and sees them drop out of the top-eight into 10th spot on the ladder, leaving their NRL finals hopes hanging in the balance. The Broncos now face a grand final rematch against a Penrith side desperate to bounce back from a shock home defeat to the Cowboys, with all three of Walters' Origin stars returning for the Friday night showdown at Suncorp Stadium.

Reece Walsh suffered a hand injury in Origin Game 2 that may have explained him being rested for the Broncos' game against the Warriors. Pic: X/Getty
Reece Walsh suffered a hand injury in Origin Game 2 that may have explained him being rested for the Broncos' game against the Warriors. Pic: X/Getty

Some critics understood the decision to rest forwards Carrigan and Haas - who has been sidelined with a knee injury for large stretches of the season already. But many fans were left baffled by Walters' decision give Walsh a rest after a very quiet Game 2 for the Maroons at the MCG - especially when Brisbane need to bank wins to assure themselves of a top-eight finish and finals footy in 2024.

Walters did not really go into any more detail other than to say he thought the Origin players needed a rest and he'd done it successfully during last year's series. But the 'NRL Physio' has provided more evidence to back up the decision to rest Walsh after revealing that the livelire fullback suffered a hand injury in the Maroons' loss.

"Reece Walsh had scans on his hand last week after it blew up with swelling post Origin 2," he posted on social media alongside a photo with Walsh showing his troublesome hand to Haas after Origin 2. "Thankfully came back clear of major injury, so no doubts over his availability for this week. May have contributed to his “resting” in Round 17 though."

The development comes after Walters was forced to defend his decision to rest his players, despite critics insisting the Broncos couldn't afford to. Brisbane had already been rocked by injuries to Adam Reynolds, Corey Oates and Jordan Riki, but the added burden of having to travel to New Zealand to face the Warriors ultimately forced Walters' hand and the Broncos coach said he was comfortable with the move despite his side's defeat.

"I think it is a really smart decision," Walters said. "There's still nine rounds left in the competition. They've still got to get through another Origin game yet. I'm just looking after them and putting them first. We know if they get through this period it's full steam ahead. We did the same thing last year. Didn't seem to bother anyone too much last year. No one noticed. Funny that."

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The big difference of course is that the Broncos were in the top two at this stage last year and could afford to potentially drop points without it affecting their finals hopes. This year, they are scrapping for a top-eight spot and may need to win six from their remaining nine games to make the finals - meaning Walters may not have the luxury of resting anyone for the round 20 game at Newcastle - three days after the Origin decider. That match comes after a round 19 game against the eighth-placed Dragons when Brisbane will be missing their Origin stars.

On the left is Broncos coach Kevin Walters and Reece Walsh, with Payne Haas on right.
Broncos coach Kevin Walters copped criticism for resting Origin stars Reece Walsh, Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan as Brisbane lost to the Warriors. Pic: Getty

Walters will again be without a number of players for Friday night's grand final rematch such as prop Ben Te Kura (foot) and second-rowers Riki (suspended) and Jaiyden Hunt (hand). It leaves him with just seven middle and edge forwards to pick from in a serious test of the club's depth.

"It does affect your depth. That's probably the most concerning thing from the (Warriors) game is two more long-term injuries,"Walters said in reference to the Gosiewski and Baker setbacks. "So it does make a difference." But the Broncos coach insists his side is "definitely" still on track to finish inside the top eight by the end of the season.

"If you have a good look at the table there are a few teams like us behind the leaders and all in the race," he added. "I expect us to get ourselves together sooner rather than later with some really strong performances leading into the finals."