NRL supercoach Wayne Bennett denies he is planning to poach teen sensation Reece Walsh to be the face of the Dolphins.
The transfer bombshell hit headlines this week, blindsiding the Warriors who have the 19-year-old on their books until 2024, having signed him from the Broncos last year.
Walsh burst onto the NRL scene last year with the Warriors, cementing himself as the game's most exciting young player, alongside Roosters halfback Sam Walker.
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But the success will have NRL rivals lining up to lure the young fullback away from the Auckland-based club.
Bennett, though, denies the Dolphins have made a play, or are considering to.
"I'm not sure where it's come from but I can assure you he hasn't even been mentioned," Bennett told Fox Sports.
"We know nothing about it and we've had nothing to do with it."
Bennett's comments reinforce those of Dolphins chief Terry Reader last night.
Nine reporter Ben Dobbin, though, is adamant there's fire behind the smoke.
"I'm hearing they're having conversations," Dobbin said.
"I'm hearing that Dolphins and Reece Walsh's management have had conversations and if there's to be in any way a parting of the ways - because he's got family here (in Queensland), he's got a child here that he has to see, he doesn't want to go over to New Zealand and not see his child."
The Warriors have been based on Australia's east coast for the past two years thanks to COVID-19, but they will be able to return to New Zealand for games this year.
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Under NRL rules, Walsh can't be approached by rival clubs until he is off-contract at the end of next year, making any Dolphins conversations illegal.
Bennett says, for the meantime, he is happy to park all negotiations to let the NRL season take flight. The Dolphins won't debut until this time next year.
"We're talking to players all the time but we'll just sit back now and let the season start and then we'll see what happens," Bennett told Fox.
"We're in a good position."
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