The Warriors are concerned for Reece Walsh ahead of his shock State of Origin debut on Sunday, believing the pressured environment could be too much for the teen superstar.
Eighteen-year-old Walsh will become the youngest Origin debutant in almost three decades when he starts at fullback for Queensland this weekend.
Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan told 1 NEWS the Warriors are proud of Walsh but also know Origin is a big ask after just seven NRL games.
“I sorta said “I think he'll be a Queenslander for the next 10 or so years so I'd hate to see him thrown in a little bit too early,” O’Sullivan said.
“[It could hurt] the long-term project that he is.”
O'Sullivan’s concerns carry weight, having recruited some of the game's biggest names during his time with the Melbourne Storm who have gone on to have lengthy Origin careers.
The recruitment manager also has extra ties to his latest Origin find after he was able to swoop on Walsh because his old club, the Broncos, didn't think he was ready for NRL.
Two months after the Broncos released him, he returns to Brisbane in the Queensland No.1 jersey.
“You generally don't even try [to recruit] those sort of ones but [the Broncos] probably missed their chance a little bit and probably weren't proactive enough,” O’Sullivan said.
Their loss is the Warriors' gain - and now Queensland's.