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Rice Walsh promises to improve protection with one eye in Origin’s dream

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Rice Walsh says Maroons coach Billy Slater’s advice has forced him to improve his defense efforts and put himself in the frame for his State of Origin debut after his dream was brutally stolen last year.

The 19-year-old Warriors keeper in the frame with Kalin Pong, who wore a No. 1 shirt for Queensland, was due to play defender in the second game last year when he strained his hamstring in the captain’s run.

He learned a lot from this experience of training and talking to Slater about where he needed to go.

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Walsh makes an average of about two missed selections per game and wants to bring him to one mark as the elite defenders in the game. James Tedesca, for example, this year has an average of missed selections of 0.9.

“I tore a hamstring in the captain’s race before Origin last year. Now, every time I get on a captain’s race, I watch myself do all my stretching. I make sure that my training is perfect so that it does not happen again, ”Walsh said.

“I’ve worked a lot on my defense with Brownie (Nathan Brown) and that’s the area where I really grew up.

“I talked to Billy and he wants me to continue to develop my defensive game and focus on myself in all areas. If I can get better with every game, then I feel it will help, no matter which team I play for. That’s one of the things Billy told me. “

Camera iconRice Walsh says he needs to improve his defenses. Photo by NRL Credit: Supplied

Slater, one of Queensland’s greatest defenders, was one of the Maroon’s selectors last year and was ready to support Walsh behind the standings. He helped Walsh in the background and was impressed by the teenager’s attitude.

“I’ve done a few things with Rice over his career and I’ve had some communication with him,” Slater said.

“I have a lot of time for him. He is a wonderful young man and has a great desire to get the best out of his career in the NRL.

“A lot is included in this (full) position. We see all the brilliant things in which Rice is really good. He highlighted this when he first took the stage last year, but he’s working on a lot of things behind the scenes that teams will really benefit from. He is on the right track. “

Pongo made his debut in Origin in 2018 from the bench and shot while playing in the center of the field rather than in his favorite position. Walsh said he would do the same anywhere at 17.

“(Ponga) just went out and played footage and I feel like I’m in the same boat. If Billy chooses me, I will play anywhere for Queensland, ”Walsh said.

“It seems to me that I know the rugby league quite well and have played in a variety of positions before. There was one game in Queensland 18 when I was coached by Kurt Richards, where I got off the bench and played center in the castle.

“If I had that opportunity to wear a Maroons jersey, I would do it for my family and my staff. I guarantee that I would leave everything on the field and not let them down. “

Slater played with Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis and many other morons who did not play in their club position when they lined up at Origin.

“You go for it with an open mind and choose your best team,” Slater said.

“It’s great that the players are playing in the position they’re going to play in State of Origin, but I’ve played with a number of great players who have been able to move around the positions.”

Walsh is just grateful for the opportunity to work with Slater.

“Billy was an inspiring example for me. I watched everything he did in the paddock. It is a childhood memory, ”he said.

“When I talk to him now, I see that he is one of the smartest people in the rugby league I have ever met. He is a great coach and a great person. “

https://thewest.com.au/news/reece-walsh-vows-to-improve-defence-with-one-eye-on-origin-dream-c-6811505

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