Reece Walsh’s Akubra fashion statement steals the show in Queensland derby

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Even when he’s not playing, Brisbane Broncos fullback Reece Walsh knows how to make a statement.

The 21-year-old sets the field alight when he steps onto it but is proving to be just as effective off the field while he deals with a facial fracture from the match against the Panthers last week.

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But if there was any doubt that Walsh is quickly becoming the face of the NRL, it was put to bed as he stole the show at Suncorp Stadium without even stepping foot on the field.

Wearing a button up shirt and sitting directly behind his coach, Walsh’s headwear caught all the attention as he sported an Akubra, looking every part the cowboy.

“What’s with the cowboy hat with Reece tonight?” Paul Vautin asked on Channel 9.

Fox’s Dan Ginnane added just before full-time: “Tell you what, Reece Walsh is ready to go bootscooting — that is some hat.”

After the match, it was apparent that Walsh wasn’t alone as another player had the Akubra on but all anyone wanted to talk about was the No. 1.

Even captain Adam Reynolds couldn’t help himself.

“He’s trying to hide that nice scar on his face,” Reynolds said. “He had this big ugly mask on during the week, sort of covering his good looks up. Great to see him out and about though.”

Social media couldn’t help itself though, comparing to everyone from Queensland politician Bob Katter to Homer Simpson.

Neds and Ladbrokes content creator Liam Fogarty posted: “Reece Walsh is from Nerang. Take the Cowboy hat off and put the Nike Dri-fit on. Ain’t no cowboys on the GC.”

The League Freak X account said: “I completely support Reece Walsh wearing that cowboy hat! It works! I like living in a world where he wears it!”

Ex-Panthers cheerleader and super fan Nat Hanrahan posted: “Reece Walsh wearing a cowboy hat to a game his team are playing the cowboys in is hilarious. I am obsessed with him.”

Reuters reporter Scott Murdoch wrote: “Reece Walsh in a giant Cowboys hat is one of the best NRL moments.”

One fan said: “Why is Reece Walsh wearing a 45.5 litre hat in the box?”

Another commented: “Reece Walsh’s hat is sponsored by Bob Katter.”

A third wrote: “Reece Walsh as ALDI Trell with the cowboy hat in the coaches box.”

WWOS’ The Mole also revealed it’s not a new fashion statement from Walsh as he had the hat when the team was in Vegas for the season opener.

While it’s all in good fun, Walsh received good news earlier in the week when it was revealed he wouldn’t need surgery after suffering the facial fracture when he had a head clash with the Panthers’ Taylan May.

Not needing surgery should expedite his recovery and could return as soon as the Broncos’ round 6 clash against the Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium.

Not that his side missed him with his teammates ending the Cowboys’ unbeaten start to the season in a 38-12 drubbing despite his absence.

But it will be good for Walsh’s growing brand after reports the Broncos star would be following in the footsteps of Hollywood A-lister Jessica Chastain, J-Pop star Akira and New York Yankees baseballer Aaron Judge as one of the faces of Ralph Lauren Fragrances.

News Corp reports it’s the first time the brand has moved into rugby league and he’ll join the likes of AFL star Bailey Smith, boxer Harry Garside, 800m runner Peter Bol, NBL trailblazer Isaac Humphries as Aussie sports stars in the brand’s stable.

So it seems like this will be just the start of the star’s fashion journey.

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