Kevin Walters delivers bad news to Broncos fans about Reece Walsh's return to NRL

The Brisbane coach has tried to lower expectations for the superstar fullback.

Broncos coach Kevin Walters has tried to quell expectations surrounding the return of superstar fullback Reece Walsh having declared he might not be fit to play next week as they monitor his injury. Walsh was left battered and bruised against the Panthers in round three when Taylan May rushed out of the line and flattened the fullback.

The duo collided heads in an ugly collision, which left Walsh with a broken cheek bone. The 21-year-old was expected to miss four to six weeks having opted against surgery. And Walters indicated on Monday that the NRL fullback was 'maybe' in line to make a surprise comeback in round six after Walsh was seen training in protective headgear.

Kevin Walters reacts and Reece Walsh walks off the field.
Broncos coach Kevin Walters (pictured left) has quelled expectations around Reece Walsh's (pictured far right) early return. (Getty Images)

This would have seen Walsh only miss three weeks and return ahead of schedule. Although on Wednesday, Walters moved to quell expectations and claimed Walsh would not be rushed back unless he was 100 per cent ready to play.

"When Reece is ready he'll play again; that's not up to me, that's up to our medical staff," Walters said. In Walsh's absence, Tristan Sailor put in a stellar performance against the Cowboys last week.

The 25-year-old fullback ran for 198 metres and made five tackle busts to help ignite the Broncos attack. Walters was full of praise for Sailor and was confident he would put in another blockbuster shift against the Storm. "He's a very good, very smart footballer," Walters said.

"Different to Reece, he brings a different mentality and was great defensively for us (against the Cowboys last week). The good teams need those players in their side." There has been calls from fans for Sailor to find his way into the 17, which could see him used off the bench as an impact player. However, the back-up No.1 will hold onto the fullback position while Walsh is out.

Reece Walsh looks on.
Reece Walsh (pictured) is aiming for a round six return for Broncos.

Tristan Sailor to face off against old rival

The Storm have a formidable record at home against the Broncos having not lost in eight years. The Storm have dominated the Broncos since their NRL inception in 1998 having won 40 of their 55 clashes, with one draw.

Sailor will line up in the No.1 jersey for the Broncos with a huge task of changing their fortune down south, but he also has one eye on his old former school rival Ryan Papenhuyzen. "I am the same age as Paps. We have come through together and versing each other in touch and footy all the way through," Sailor said.


"Back in school touch from under 15s he played for CIS (Combined Independent Schools) and I played for CCC (Combined Catholic Colleges). Even then you could see how good he was. It is really good to see him bounce back from all the adversity he has had. I am really excited to verse him again. He is a livewire."

Craig Bellamy waves to the crowd.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy (pictured) joined Melbourne from the Broncos.

The Storm have traditionally built their foundations around Queensland superstars since their inception. This includes the acquisition of coach Craig Bellamy from the Broncos. And You have to say we are traditional rivals because when the club was formed in 1998 it was started by John Ribot, Glenn Lazarus and Chris Johns, so it had that Broncos element from day one," Storm general manager of football Frank Ponissi told AAP.

"Of course our coach Craig Bellamy came from the Broncos and for years and years we had a lot of players from Queensland with the big three of Cameron (Smith), Cooper Cronk and Billy (Slater). Some of them grew up supporting the Broncos. Cameron Munster is another one now."