Young Warriors star Reece Walsh keeping grounded despite whirlwind rise

At just 18-years-old, life has forced rising Warriors star Reece Walsh to become wise beyond his years.

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The teenager has plenty on his plate at the moment, both on and off the field. Source: 1 NEWS

The teenager became a father just four months ago, is trying to buy his parents their first house, and also building the foundations for a, hopefully, long NRL career which started just five days ago.

He's been labelled the future of the Warriors but it's the past that Walsh has been reflecting on since his stellar debut last week.

Born to a Māori mum and Australian dad, Walsh told 1 NEWS his story started with humble beginnings in the town of Nerang on the Gold Coast.

“That's where I've grown up my whole life,” Walsh said.

“We didn't have too much. I was staying with dad sometimes, staying with mum, then I moved over to my dad when I was about three or four-years-old and didn't really see my mum too much.”

His step-mum, who he considers his real mum, was there for his debut but the most emotion came from big brother Zac - a former Rabbitohs under-20's player who fell short of his own NRL dream.

Reece Walsh of the New Zealand Warriors holds his baby after the match between the Storm and the Warriors, 25 April, 2021. Source: Photosport

He still had plenty of advice for his little brother though.

“He just said, ‘don't fall into the trap all footy players do’,” Walsh said.

“Keep ya level head grounded mate, you're just another person at the end of the day.”

Similarities have been drawn with the Roosters' teenage sensation Sam Walker, who Walsh actually played Queensland under-18's together with.

Walsh said the pair are good friends and want to be State of Origin greats, making it unlikely that he will ever play for the Kiwis even though his New Zealand links continue through his partner and her family.

Walsh said he and baby Leila Arohamauroa are looking forward to their first trip to New Zealand when the NRL allows it though.

“I wanna give her as much as I can,” he said.

“More than when I was younger and I'm in a fortunate position - I can do that and I'm extremely grateful.”