NRL star Reece Walsh has been admitted to using cocaine after being caught in possession outside a nightclub in the Gold Coast.
The New Zealand Warriors fullback was speaking to officers outside a nightclub 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 Caville Avenue, with officers finding him still at the location 45 minutes later.
The 19-year-old was then handcuffed and led away by police where it was 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 his actions.
‘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.’
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 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 CEO Cameron George who said the incident was a ‘one-off’ and that they would support the young star through the process.
‘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.’
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.
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
In the footage, Walsh appears to argue with officers before they handcuff him and lead him away.
‘About 12.15am this morning police from Surfers Paradise ordered a move on direction to a 19-year-old male,’ A Queensland Police spokesperson said.
‘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.’
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.
‘Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George has confirmed fullback Reece Walsh was arrested following an incident on the Gold Coast last night,’ the club said in a statement.
‘He said he had met Walsh this morning and had informed the NRL Integrity Unit.
‘George added while the matter is under investigation the club would not be making further comment until a later stage.’
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