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Reece Walsh, Warriors, release, August 1 deadline, Stacey Jones, Melbourne Storm, Broncos, Fox League, Cooper Cronk, Corey Parker

NRL greats Cooper Cronk and Corey Parker have pleaded with the Warriors to leave Rees Walsh early if they don’t want to play him.

Warriors interim coach Stacey Jones benched Walsh for the first time this season on Saturday night, playing just 14 minutes off the pitch against Canberra.

Walsh, the star fullback, was left out of the starting lineup last month after ending his deal with the Warriors early for family reasons and signing with the Broncos through next season.

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The Warriors are reluctant to let Walsh go this offseason, with several clubs interested in signing the 20-year-old before the Aug. 1 deadline.

Chanelle Tevita-Harris is leaving the club at the end of the season after the 23-year-old stunned the NRL by announcing he would be taking an extended break from the game.

But Tevita-Harris will keep his place in the starting side and has gone against the Raiders to replace Walsh.

The Warriors are out of the play-offs and Parker has asked the club to call on Walsh for the remaining six rounds.

“What lesson are you teaching Reyes Walsh?” Parker said on Fox League.

New Zealand Warriors player Reece Walsh in training. Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

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“You can’t make the finals, it won’t be there next year, Harris-Tevita won’t be there next year, so you have the opportunity to bleed other players in other places you go. To benefit next year.

“Personally, he’s not there next year, if he has to leave there will be salary cap compensation I believe, so go for it.

If you don’t play it, and if you don’t want to play it, well, move on.

The Hurricanes are one club interested in Walsh and Cronk said he would learn a lot in Melbourne as he explained how the Warriors could benefit from letting him go.

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“Whatever players they have on their extra list … with guys like Charnze Nicol-Klokstad playing (fully) next year, they might not be playing (fully) but the tackle repetitions, the NRL level strength (is important),” Cronk said.

“It’s a big step for these guys to get a feel for what it feels like to play at least six games before preseason starts next year.

Otherwise, you will start round 1 next year and you will not have those lessons, so enter them now.

“Get that sense of NRL strength now and if you don’t get game time it could be a few streaks ahead of where you can come from.”

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