Utility back Niall Walker pens 12-month deal at Hunslet

Niall Walker.
Niall Walker.
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Utility back Niall Walker has signed for Hunslet on a 12-month contract.

Walker, 21, is a former Stanningley junior. He moved to Australia to further his career playing for West Tigers as well as representing Parramatta Eels and Balmain Tigers at junior level.

Walker returned to the UK after a five-year spell in Australia halfway through the 2017 season, putting pen to paper on a short term deal for Hunslet. He went on to make only one appearance for the club after suffering a season ending knee injury.

Predominantly a full-back/half-back, Walker is equally at home in all the outside back positions and was initially recommended to the club by Bob Pickles.

Head coach Gary Thornton was pleased to retain the services of Walker. He said: “Niall was so unfortunate last year, picking up a season ending injury in his first game for the club. However, we saw enough in him to know he will be a really good asset next season.

“He’s a local lad who has returned from Australia, where he emigrated to with his family as a kid, and is hoping to make his name in the game with us.

“He played at a very high standard in Australia, and comes to us with a really good pedigree. Hopefully now all his injury worries are behind him, he can benefit from a good pre-season and push for a place in the team next season.

“Niall is a talented individual with a lot of skill, and can play anywhere in the back line from full-back to pivot.

“He is another player with a hunger and desire to succeed, and will push himself really hard to get there. I’m really looking forward to working with him and seeing him back fit.”

Walker was delighted to be given the chance to prove himself in 2018. He added: “I would like to say a big thank you to the Hunslet club for retaining me again for the 2018 season. During last season’s injury, I’ve worked really hard off the field so I can be ready for the upcoming year.

“It’s an exciting time for everyone down here this year with a lot of new faces coming into the club.

“The club is looking to make big impact in this year’s comp and I’m honoured to be a part of it, with such a great bunch of players and staff.”