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Walsh lucky to return v Bennett's Dolphins: Reynolds

Joe Gould -

Injured Brisbane skipper Adam Reynolds reckons Reece Walsh won't be targeted by the Dolphins in the star fullback's NRL return from a facial fracture.

Walsh will be back in action a week earlier than expected when he lines up against Wayne Bennett's Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

The talismanic fullback was expected to miss four to six weeks after suffering the injury against Penrith in round three.

He did not require surgery and will take his place at No.1, replacing Tristan Sailor who has moved to the bench.

Reynolds, who is out of action with a hamstring strain, said Walsh was fortunate he was up against a Bennett-coached side.

The veteran half played under Bennett at South Sydney for three seasons.

"I'm sure he will get that protection," Reynolds said.

"Being coached by Wayne, he never likes players getting hurt or injured and he talks about trying to prevent people being put in those situations.

"Wayne is always caring about his team and the other. He has a duty of care to make his players play a safe game."

Walsh has carried out contact drills at training this week and Reynolds said the fullback had been champing at the bit to return even earlier. "Walshy would have played last week if (coach) Kevin Walters let him," Reynolds said.

"He is a tough kid. He wanted to get on with it. He hates missing games and loves being involved."

Sailor did a sterling job while Walsh was out injured and will revert to a utility role on the bench, from where he could feature in multiple positions. "It gives us options throughout the game," Reynolds said.

"We can play Tristan in several positions. There is a chance to get him on the field on an edge or at fullback.

"He is so versatile he can play anywhere bar front row."

The Broncos welcome back bench forward Xavier Willison on the bench while Jock Madden will fill Reynolds's role at half.

Reynolds suffered a hamstring strain in last week's 34-32 loss to Melbourne.

"Jock is definitely more than ready," Reynolds said.

"I love Jock. He is a great kid and he is a learner. He gets the team around the park and does the job well.

"If anything, we need to be better around him and support him a bit more.

"He is fast, takes the line on and has a lot of great attributes to his game.

"Unfortunately, the games he has played in we haven't played well as a team.

"That's not a knock on Jock. He is a fantastic player and he will do his job."

Joe Gould - AAP

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