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Reece Walsh admitted he became ‘arrogant’ with his partying and drug taking in the lead up to his arrest for cocaine possession.
The New Zealand Warriors fullback was handcuffed in Surfers Paradise in September after failing to comply with a ‘move on direction’ by police outside a nightclub near Cavill Avenue.
The 19-year-old was filmed arguing with officers before he was led away to a police station where a search found he was in possession of cocaine.
Walsh, who escaped with a $400 fine and good behaviour bond, said he’s ‘ashamed’ of his actions and wants to be a better role model for his young fans.
Reece Walsh admitted he’d become ‘arrogant’ with his partying in the lead up to his arrest for cocaine possession
Walsh, who grew up on the Gold Coast, posted videos to his TikTok page earlier in the night with teammates
‘It was massive, I learnt a big lesson about not thinking you’re better than everyone and on top of the world,’ he told the Courier Mail.
‘I got complacent and arrogant. It’s been a huge learning curve. I’m glad I learnt it at this age.’
He was suspended for two games and fined $5,000 by the NRL in addition to his criminal sanction.
Walsh previously said his mother’s drug addiction convinced him never to do drugs in a revealing interview before his arrest.
After having his first child Leila aged 18 with his girlfriend Freda Puru, Walsh said he would never use drugs after learning the lessons from his parent.
‘I wouldn’t say just because of my mum that I don’t want to be doing drugs. It’s just my personal feelings,’ Walsh told the Courier Mail in June.
‘It hasn’t been easy with my mum, but I still say not everyone is as lucky as me, a lot of people have it worse than me.’
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
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, whose idol growing up was Ben Barba who was kicked out of the game after being caught in possession of cocaine and assaulting his partner, said NRL players had to be ‘smart’ when being exposed to drugs.
‘As an NRL player, you have to be smart. There is always someone watching and there are little kids at home who watch NRL players and dream of being like us,’ he said at the time.
‘I don’t want to be setting bad examples for young kids who watch the game. I don’t want them thinking that it’s OK to be doing drugs.
‘It’s all about setting examples for the next generation.’
But Walsh this weekend admitted all that got thrown out the window after his fame grew so much after his stellar season and $1.2 million contract.
‘I was going out and random people were coming up to me trying to give me stuff. It got to a point where I thought “stuff it, I’ll just do it”,’ he said.
He said he expected to pay for his mistakes for the rest of his life, and was feeling it keenly now.
Footage emerged of NRL young gun Reece Walsh high on cocaine inside a Gold Coast nightclub before his arrest on Saturday night
Walsh told the Courier Mail he hasn’t drunk since the arrest and says he’s using the incident as a learning curve.
‘Even though it was disappointing and I was ashamed of what I did, I’m happy it’s happened now and not five or 10 years down the track. I could have still been doing the same stuff and having bad habits,’ he said.
‘It’s something I can learn from and also tell my story to young kids coming through when I’m a bit older and more experienced.’
Walsh said he was feeling a lot better as a teetotaler and when he was drinking he was sometimes too hungover to hold his child.
The New Zealand Warriors fullback appeared in a video alongside the club’s CEO and coach on Sunday afternoon, tearfully admitting to being arrested in possession of the drug
Walsh fronted the Warriors’ fans via video after his arrest to admit to having the drugs and apologise for ‘getting himself into a bit of trouble’.
‘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.’
Source: Daily Mail