NEWS Sam Walker signs with Roosters

Ponga01

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Twelve NRL clubs and rugby union battling to sign schoolboy sensation Sam Walker

May 31, 2019

Queensland under-18s halfback Sam Walker has become one of the most sought-after teenagers in the country with 12 NRL clubs and the Australian Rugby Union in a bidding war for the Broncos sensation.

The Courier-Mail can reveal Walker, still just 16, has fielded offers of up to $200,000 a season as NRL suitors the Roosters, Cowboys, Titans and the Bulldogs vie with the ARU for the signature of the Ipswich Jets wonder boy.

Walker celebrated one of the highlights of his embryonic rugby league career yesterday when he trained against the Queensland Origin senior team in an opposed session at Davies Park.

The son of former Brisbane playmaker Ben Walker, Sam is off-contract with the Broncos at season’s end and may be forced to look elsewhere following the blooding of 18-year-old Tom Dearden at Red Hill.

There will be no shortage of options for the classy playmaker, whose father met with Titans Culture and Performance boss Mal Meninga a fortnight ago to discuss signing the junior Maroons young gun.

Walker will look to pilot the Queensland under-18s to victory over their Blues counterparts in a curtain-raiser to Origin I at Suncorp Stadium this Wednesday night.

Walker’s uncle Shane, who played 150 first-grade games with Brisbane and Souths, said the wiry halfback has a huge decision to make on whether he will stay in league or defect to rugby union.

“People have compared him to Kalyn Ponga but he plays differently to Ponga, Sam is pretty unique in his style,” Walker said.

“He reads play really well, he has a high football IQ for a kid so young and it comes back to his environment, he’s been around football since his earliest years.

“Sam can identify weaknesses in the opposition very quickly, even his kicking style and the way he moves is different to any young halfback I’ve seen.

“There’s no reason that Sam can’t have a long career in the NRL, but he needs to put the hard work in and keep on improving.

“We’ve been really pleased with the process to date. The Roosters, Bulldogs and Titans have all been very professional in their dealing.

“The Australian Rugby Union is also interested in Sam, but to the kid’s credit he isn’t rushing into any decision. He is taking his time.”

Queensland Under-18s coach Kurt Richards said Walker, who turns 17 in a fortnight, is a gifted footballer.

“Sam is a fair talent and plays on both sides of the park and plays what he sees,” Richards said.

“He’s only young but we expect a lot from him in the future.”

Source: Courier Mail
 
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teampjta

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I know we can’t keep them all, but given this amount of interest, I’d hate to see him end up killing it at another club. With all this attention, we can’t use the excuse that he slipped through or he wasn’t good enough as a kid (Cronk, Smith, slater etc)

You’d like to think our recruiters have key indicators that they check off when a player is still a kid, if he meets all those indicators (ala Mr P Haas, Fifita etc) he has to stay.
 
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Sproj

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The last kid who had this much hype was one Payne in the Haas, he turned out alright, so lock this kid up.
 

NSW stables

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Its hard, we have so many "hyped up" young halves and there is no way we will be able ro keep them all.

Although natural ability/" the x factor" is great, i would be looking to retain at least one with a high footy IQ, good kicking game (which is an aspect many younger halves dont have), provides try assists and can compliment another running half as these are rarer qualities in the new generation of players.
 

Xzei

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does anyone who has watched this kid play know if he has played fullback at all?
 

Dazza 92

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yeh that might be the only card we can play with him and his family right now; a pathway that sees him replace Boyd at fullback.....but thats a risk to, as we have zero idea how he'd handle it..but then again didn't do Locky any harm playing fullback first did it...or Ponga currently..

Have to wait and see..
 

Aldo

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I sort of get the feeling we need to keep this kid. Not sure how, but we need to make it happen. I hate the thought of him carving up for someone else.
 

ostin86

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If this kid is really that good than he should back himself and stay with the Broncos. We have a young halfback who is progressing very well, but he is hardly established. A fullback who should already be hanging up the boots and surely is not too far off. Then we have Milf who is not consistent enough to justify his excessively large paycheck (He is in good form atm)

I would say his potential pathway here is better than most other clubs. I would imagine our club will be making him very aware of that.
 

big k

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If we keep him could we eventually end up with

1 Milford
6 Walker
7 Deardan
9 Turpin
 

rnabokov

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I sort of get the feeling we need to keep this kid. Not sure how, but we need to make it happen. I hate the thought of him carving up for someone else.
That's what a lot of us said about Ash Taylor, me included.

As I see it, we have gone with Dearden who is looking exactly what we need at half back. For mine Dearden is class and it is starting to show.

As for the ongoing Milford hate, I just can't get my head around that. He was our best last year, and is shaping up again in this regard this year under a new coach.

Look at his last 2 solo tries, his kicking game, how he has started a combination with Dearden. For mine we have the halves combination we need for the foreseeable future, and what we need to be looking at is our FB options more than any other position
 
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Alec

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That's what a lot of us said about Ash Taylor, me included.

As I see it, we have gone with Dearden who is looking exactly what we need at half back. For mine Dearden is class and it is starting to show.
I don't think we need to look for a halfback either, but for a different reason - because Dearden is going to need a few years to show us if he's the right one or not. A lot of halves come in full of promise, but never seem to develop enough. Cleary is the perfect example right now. I hope he succeeds, but we still need to be cautiously optimistic.
 

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