The Storm have not given up hope of convincing Warriors young gun Reece Walsh to make a mid-season switch.

Melbourne is continuing to work the phones in a bid to replace fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen and Storm back into premiership contention.

Papenhuyzen will be sidelined for the rest of the season, leaving winger Nick Meaney as the logical replacement at the back, but the Storm have other plans.

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Fox League’s James Hooper reported earlier in the week that the Storm have checked if Warriors fullback Reece Walsh or Wests Tigers five-eighth Adam Doueihi might be interested in a late-season cameo at Melbourne.

“While there’s no way either the Warriors or the Wests Tigers would be willing to release those star players you’ve got to admire Melbourne for the club’s lateral thinking given the position they find themselves in,” Hooper added.

It seems like the Storm just won’t give up hope though, with rugby league reporter Michelle Bishop claiming on Friday morning there is still a “massive push” to snare Walsh.

“I can reveal that this is a massive push from the Melbourne Storm so they’re not whispers, it’s actually happening,” she said on SEN 1170.

“They’re pushing hard. They want the Warriors obviously to release Reese Walsh early. He’s obviously signed with the Brisbane Broncos for the next three seasons, starting next year, but he would be the perfect candidate to fill the void left by Ryan Papenhuyzen who, of course, has had absolutely no luck with injuries.

“This will also take a bit of pressure off them to allow the Melbourne Storm to leave Nick Meaney there, who is a capable replacement, but leave him and freeing him up on the wing.”

Bishop though added the Warriors will not “budge” and come to the negotiating table.

“That’s despite still benching Reece Walsh for Chanel Harris-Tavita, who is not going to be at the club next year either,” she said.

“But they don’t see it as a good fit. They said that Reece wanted to be back home in Brisbane to be close to his family… but shifting from New Zealand via Melbourne to Brisbane is just not a good look.

“I can’t see the Warriors relenting with seven weeks to go. But as I say, the Melbourne Storm are pushing hard behind the scenes for it to happen.”

Originally published as ‘It’s actually happening’: Storm’s recruitment raid is just beginning

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