Reece Walsh.
The hard work Brisbane star Reece Walsh does away from the fanfare defines him, says Daris Boyd. Image by Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS
  • rugby league

Quest for perfection defines Broncos whiz Walsh: Boyd

Joel Gould September 27, 2023

Everyone sees the electric flair of Brisbane fullback Reece Walsh on the field but it is what fans don’t see that impresses his mentor Darius Boyd just as much.

“If we’ve got a video meeting at 8am he will come in at 7.30am to see extra clips,” Broncos legend Boyd told AAP.

“Walshy is a perfectionist, which we know is not achievable, but that leads you to excellence.

“It is his work ethic, attention to detail and thirst to be better that are second-to-none. That is so exciting for me to be involved with.”

Former Brisbane captain Boyd, who won the 2006 grand final with the club, is on the coaching staff where he assists the outside backs with their craft.

Ahead of Sunday’s grand final against Penrith the 21-year-old Walsh made it clear how vital Boyd had been in his development.

“I am very grateful to Darbs. I wouldn’t be here doing what I am doing without him,” Walsh said.

“Having him close each week and getting tips off him and picking his brain as much as I can … he has been massive. I wouldn’t say just this year either.

“Darbs came to sessions when I was at the EPD (elite player development squad) here in juniors and was teaching us three-on-twos and summing up situations.”

Boyd was a master at chiming into the backline and creating opportunities for his supports. Walsh is third on the NRL try assists for the year with 25 and leads the line break assist category with 37.

Boyd was a perfectionist himself and understands it can be a double-edged word.

“You have to be realistic and understand that while you want perfection you are not going to get it right all the time on and off the field,” Boyd said.

“Walshy is still learning that and hopefully myself and the coaching staff can help him in that sense and fast-track him.”

There is a key difference between the pair. Boyd is an introvert. Walsh is an extrovert.

As Boyd was speaking on Monday, Walsh was getting mobbed by young fans and lapping it up.

“It’s a bit different from where I come from. My name wasn’t getting called too much when I was younger in the right ways,” Walsh grinned.

“I am honoured to hear the kids calling my name and looking up to someone like me.”

Walsh, like Boyd, is fearless. He will not hold back on Sunday against Penrith.

“We don’t fear them. We know the brand of footy we can play,” he said.

“We are going to give them the respect that they have earnt, but we will play our footy.”

Walsh will strut his stuff with Boyd watching on in awe.

“He has got a little bit of Darren Lockyer about him from when he played fullback, just with the way he glides across the park, and a lot of Billy Slater as well,” Boyd said.

“His mindset on the biggest stage is outstanding. When he makes an error he can put that behind him and go again.”