Broncos recruit Reece Walsh is going above and beyond in his pre-season training to give himself the best possible chance at nailing down the fullback role in his return to Brisbane.
A breathing technique recommended by high performance coach Brett Mallett has seen the 20-year-old former Warrior sleeping with tape on his mouth to improve his fatigue management ahead of his Broncos debut in 2023.
“Something I’ve been doing by myself away from the club is working with Brett down at the Gold Coast on my breathing mechanics,” Walsh told the media during pre-season training.
“He’s got me doing some pretty crazy things, I’ve been sleeping with tape over my mouth.
“He also has me doing running sessions, it’s just all about dialling into breathing properly.
“As footy players, you get under fatigue but if you can learn to breathe properly, which I’m still going through at the moment it’ll make the game slow down and you won’t be thinking off emotion.”
With Broncos youngsters Tesi Niu, Herbie Farnworth and Selwyn Cobbo all potentially in the mix for the number one jersey come Round 1, Walsh said there is already a sense of “healthy” competition among the group.
While Cobbo is likely to start on the Broncos’ edge this season, England international Farnworth is looming as genuine competition to Walsh having produced a number of strong performances while playing in the World Cup.
“Obviously I signed as a fullback… but nothing’s guaranteed so I’ve got to keep pushing myself,” Walsh said.
“Herbs (Farnworth) obviously played in a World Cup semi-final. He’s an awesome footy player and we’re good mates.
“I think it’s really good competition that there’s a couple of boys wanting that jersey.”
After two seasons with the Warriors, the Brisbane junior said he’s hoping to take his game to the next level for Kevin Walters' Broncos where he will call home for the next three years.
“I haven’t even played 50 games yet, I’m still trying to find my feet at fullback,” he said.
“I think a big one for myself just trying to last that 80 minutes and be in the game as much as I can.
“Something I’m really going to try and get better at this year is pushing around my forwards and being more involved instead of having one moment in a game and then not really doing much.”