Freedomroo – NRL star Reece Walsh admits to cocaine use after being arrested on the Gold Coast

Walsh capped an incredible rookie season that included playing State of Origin for Queensland by winning the Rookie of the Year award

NRL young gun Reece Walsh has admitted to using cocaine after being caught with the drug after he was arrested outside a nightclub on the Gold Coast.

The New Zealand Warriors fullback was handcuffed in Surfers Paradise on Saturday night, hours after Penrith’s preliminary final win over the Melbourne Storm.

Walsh was given a ‘move on direction’ to leave an area near Cavill Avenue, but officers found him still there 45 minutes later.

The 19-year-old was filmed arguing with police before he was handcuffed and led away to a police station where a search found he was in possession of cocaine.

Walsh capped an incredible rookie season that included playing State of Origin for Queensland by winning the Rookie of the Year award

Walsh fronted the Warriors’ fans via video on Sunday afternoon to admit to having the drugs and apologise for ‘getting himself into a bit of trouble’.

‘I was told by some officers last night to move on. I didn’t move on and that led to me getting arrested and taken back to the police station,’ Walsh said.

‘Once I got back to the police station I was searched and I was in possession of a small bag of cocaine, which I had some of during the night.

‘No one else is involved in this. It’s solely on me and I put my hand up. I should never have done it. It’s a mistake that I’ve made, I’m aware of that and I’m really remorseful.’

Walsh appeared alongside Warriors chief executive Cameron George who said the incident was a ‘one-off’ and that the club would support its young star. 

‘It’s a stupid decision made by an inexperienced person. He is now fully briefed and aware of the situation and what impact it has on the broader community, which we completely apologise for,’ George said.

‘It is a one-off. We work tremendously well with our playing group and staff around awareness of drugs and alcohol and the impact it can have in a negative sense.

NRL star Reece Walsh has been arrested in the Gold Coast with footage emerging of the 19-year-old being led away by police

NRL star Reece Walsh has been arrested in the Gold Coast with footage emerging of the 19-year-old being led away by police

‘Reece wanted to put his hand up and own the situation. We as a club support that approach.

‘It’s important for us to come here today, put our hand up and deal with it. Now we get on with supporting Reece through this process.’

George said the young star would lean on his family for support through the court process and would start drug and alcohol counseling on Monday.

‘This hurts the kid. He has been exposed into a very big arena that carries a lot of pressure and responsibility,’ he said.

‘However none of that is an excuse for Reece which we established this morning.’

Walsh also pulled out of attending the Dally M Awards on Monday night, where he was likely to be named Rookie of the Year. 

The 19-year-old previously spoke about his mother’s battle with drug addiction, and admitted he hadn’t seen her since he was 14.

After having his first child aged 18, Walsh said that he would never use drugs after learning the lessons from his parent. 

‘I wouldn’t say just because of my mum that I don’t want to be doing drugs. It’s just my personal feelings,’ Walsh told the Courier Mail in June.

‘It hasn’t been easy with my mum, but I still say not everyone is as lucky as me, a lot of people have it worse than me.’

Walsh was given a 'move on direction' to leave an area near Caville Avenue, with officers finding him still at the location 45 minutes later. They then handcuffed Walsh and led him away

Walsh was given a ‘move on direction’ to leave an area near Caville Avenue, with officers finding him still at the location 45 minutes later. They then handcuffed Walsh and led him away

Walsh, who grew up on the Gold Coast, posted videos to his TikTok page earlier in the night with teammates

Walsh, who grew up on the Gold Coast, posted videos to his TikTok page earlier in the night with teammates

Walsh, whose idol growing up was Ben Barba who was kicked out of the game after being caught in possession of cocaine and assaulting his partner, said NRL players had to be ‘smart’ when being exposed to drugs. 

‘As an NRL player, you have to be smart. There is always someone watching and there are little kids at home who watch NRL players and dream of being like us,’ he said at the time.

‘I don’t want to be setting bad examples for young kids who watch the game. I don’t want them thinking that it’s OK to be doing drugs.

‘It’s all about setting examples for the next generation.’ 

The teenager, who was sensationally let go by the Brisbane Broncos at the start of last season, immediately established himself as one of the best young talents in the NRL, making his State of Origin debut in his rookie season.

Walsh, who grew up on the Gold Coast, posted videos to his TikTok page earlier in the night with teammates.

The 19-year-old, who has a newborn daughter with partner Freda, was recorded speaking with police outside a Surfers Paradise nightclub with several onlookers realising it was the Warriors star.

He was led away by police after failing to comply with their orders, before they discovered a bag of cocaine in his possession.  

The 19-year-old, who has a newborn daughter with partner Freda, was recorded speaking with police outside a Surfers Paradise nightclub with onlookers realising it was the Warriors star

The 19-year-old, who has a newborn daughter with partner Freda, was recorded speaking with police outside a Surfers Paradise nightclub with onlookers realising it was the Warriors star

Queensland Police said Surfers Paradise police gave Walsh move-on notice about 12.15am on Sunday.

‘About 45 minutes later officers observed that male in the same area. As a result he was arrested and taken to Surfers Paradise Police Station,’ it said.

The Warriors confirmed on Sunday morning Walsh had been involved in an incident and that they had informed the NRL Integrity Unit of police investigations.  

Walsh, who was born on Anzac Day and has Australian and New Zealand heritage, scored 9 tries and kicked 21 goals in his rookie season, is likely to be named Rookie of the Year at the Dally M Awards on Monday night.

He was named Rookie of the Year last week by the Rugby League Player’s Association. 

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