18-year-old Warriors star Reece Walsh named in Queensland's State of Origin side for game 2

Headlines 21/06/2021

18-year-old Warriors rookie Reece Walsh has been rewarded for exceptional form with a shock call up for Queensland in the second State of Origin match on Sunday.

Walsh will face the biggest test of his short career at Suncorp Stadium, as the struggling Maroons look to bounce back from the 50-6 hiding they recieved from Blues in game 1.

Walsh becomes Queensland's youngest player in 26 years - since Ben Ikin in 1995 - having starred for the Maroons at U-18 level.

Walsh's selection is one of the biggest rolls of the dice since Ikin was picked after just four first-grade games, as the Maroons try to keep their series hopes alive.

All NRL sides have a bye this week, meaning Walsh would likely back up and play for the Warriors in their round 16 clash against the Dragons on July 2.

Only seven games into his NRL career, Walsh has displayed moments of pure brilliance and the numbers prove it as he's already bagged four tries, eight try assists and 123 average run metres.

Kalyn Ponga's injury struggles have allowed Walsh to fill the vacant fullback role, earning a cosign from Maroons coach Paul Green last week.

There's been guys in the past who have handled it at a young age," Green said.

"As Wally Lewis (NRL Immortal and Queensland legend) said, "If you are good enough, you are old enough."

"I haven't had anything to do with Reece, but by all reports he is a confident kid."

Last week, Walsh insisted Origin selection was far from his mind but would "have a crack" if it came.

"If that stuff comes, it comes later," he said. "I just want to focus on what’s happening now.

"It would be crazy to put on the Queensland jersey at senior level.

"I wouldn’t let Queensland down ... I would have a crack."