NRL young gun Reece Walsh has been praised for owning up to taking cocaine as new footage emerges of him partying in a nightclub hours before being arrested.
The New Zealand Warriors fullback appeared alongside the club’s CEO and coach on Sunday afternoon, tearfully admitting to being arrested in possession of the drug and using it through the night.
Video shared on social media shows a blurry-eyed Walsh dancing inside a Gold Coast nightclub on Saturday and repeatedly lifting up his shirt to show his abs.
Walsh sings and gestures at the camera before propelling himself up on a stairway and lifting his legs up. The video was captioned ‘few lines Reece’.
Footage has emerged of NRL young gun Reece Walsh high on cocaine inside a Gold Coast nightclub before his arrest on Saturday night
The 19-year-old was also filmed partying with Cronulla Sharks forward Toby Rudolf last week as NRL players plant themselves in the lockdown-less Queensland
The New Zealand Warriors fullback appeared in a video alongside the club’s CEO and coach on Sunday afternoon, tearfully admitting to being arrested in possession of the drug
Walsh was arrested 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 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.’
Footy fans were quick to praise the talented fullback for owning up to his mistake.
‘Good on you Reece. Glad to see he has support at the club too. He’s a young fella, season over, it was a bit of Coke. He didn’t hurt anyone but himself, hopefully everyone moves on from this very quickly,’ wrote one woman.
‘No way this mistake defines Reece Walsh. His reaction to it will. How many others would just hide? Have a pop if you’ve never made a mistake. Otherwise, just let the kid work through it, which it looks like he’s committed to doing,’ added another fan.
Walsh capped an incredible rookie season that included playing State of Origin for Queensland by winning the Rookie of the Year award
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.
‘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.’
NRL star Reece Walsh has been arrested in the Gold Coast with footage emerging of the 19-year-old being led away by police
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, 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
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.