Broncos reeling as departed ace lights up NRL

Brisbane Broncos great and board member Darren Lockyer has defended the retention/recruitment failures that cost the club young guns Reece Walsh and Sam Walker.

Livewire fullback Walsh is starring for the Warriors after being released by Brisbane, while the Broncos botched the signing of brilliant halfback Walker, allowing him to becoming a blue-chip asset for the Roosters.

“A lot of kids come through the Broncos system. At the Broncos, there’s always going to be a lot of kids that come through there that are going to get picked off by other clubs,” Lockyer said on TODAY on Sunday.

“There’s other clubs that don’t have the same pathways as the Broncos. The Roosters, they got lucky with Sam Walker, he’s a really big star of the future.

“The same as Reece Walsh. The Broncos were keen to keep Reece Walsh but unfortunately, he decided to go to the Warriors.”

While Walker was never part of the Broncos roster, Walsh’s departure from the club has only become more confounding after his immediate success for New Zealand. Lockyer said that there was no ill-will.

“It’s good to see him go as well as he is, because we knew he had the talent,” Lockyer said.

“He got the opportunity early and he’s doing the Warriors proud. Good luck to him.”

Walsh scored a try as the Warriors beat Wests Tigers 30-26 on Friday in Gosford. He also had three try assists and four line break assists.

Walker, an Ipswich product, is among the leading players for try assists in the NRL and may end up battling Walsh for NRL Rookie of the Year honours.

The Broncos were already under fire over the recruitment/retention heading into this season, due to Queensland State of Origin forward David Fifita’s defection to local rival Gold Coast.

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