New Zealand Warriors wunderkind Reece Walsh has moved to quash rumours he may walk out on the club next year.
The 19-year-old Queenslander has been linked with Wayne Bennett's Dolphins, which will make its NRL debut next season.
Walsh - who was snaffled by the Warriors from the Brisbane Broncos a year ago - has an option on his contract for 2024. That means he can investigate the open market at the end of this year, so the speculation is unlikely to die down around a young player who is already in the State of Origin frame.
But Walsh said he had decided to speak out because the media speculation was both wrong and unfair on his teammates.
Walsh has yet to even visit New Zealand, with the Warriors still stranded in Australia as a result of Covid consequences.
"At first I sort of laughed about it and would ask the boys, 'where do you think they get this information from?' because it definitely isn't coming from me or my management or my family," Walsh said.
"After a while it became too much, there were questions from my teammates.
"It's got to the point where it's worth addressing because it's spiralling out of control.
"It's not fair on my teammates or the club that they think I am wanting to go elsewhere. It's not the case. We haven't spoken to any other clubs.
"I have a contract in place which means I am 100 per cent going to New Zealand next year."
His manager Nash Dawson confirmed he had not had formal discussions with another club.
"All good young players will draw media attention, but that's all it is, just media attention," Dawson said.
Meanwhile Walsh said: "Going to New Zealand is always going to be a challenge and I'm looking at it like that. It's a growth opportunity for sure."