Sunday People

Sam warns Giants: I’ m on a mission

- TODAY by Ross Heppenstal­l

SAM WALTERS is aiming to bow out from Leeds Rhinos on a high as he declared: My best is yet to come.

The 6ft 7in towering forward is enjoying the best season of his fledgling career as Rohan Smith’s men chase a play-off spot.

Versatile Walters, 22, has been poached by arch-rivals Wigan Warriors and will join them on a three-year deal from next season.

But he is desperate to help the Rhinos to a top-six finish as they chase a second successive Grand Final appearance.

Ahead of today’s crunch trip to West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfie­ld Giants, Walters said: “I’m playing with a lot of confidence and I know my role within the team.

“We’ve got a good game plan which allows me to thrive, but I still think my best is to come if I’m honest.

“There aren’t many players like me with my height, fitness and agility, so it’s just about finding what works for me and then perfecting that. I’ve got some good combinatio­ns in the team which I’m building on week in and week out, so I’m in a good place with my rugby right now.

“I’ve been starting at prop and then moving to the back row, which is where I’ve been getting most of my tries.”


The former Widnes Vikings prospect – who is targeting a first senior England cap – has made a career-best 13 Super League appearance this season.

He has also scored five tries in his past six games to underline his rich vein of form, a sequence that started with two in the previous meeting with Huddersfie­ld in June when Leeds won 54-0.

But Walters insisted: “My ability to score has always been there. In one academy season, I scored 20 tries and it was just about getting a long enough run in the team to show what I can do.

“I’d back myself to thrive at Wigan and do something special there next year, but at the moment I’m still totally focused on Leeds.”

Walters, an ardent Liverpool fan, played at Old Trafford last season when Leeds were beaten by allconquer­ing St Helens in the Grand Final – and he sees no reason why they cannot make it back to the Theatre of Dreams.

He said: “Every game is must-win now but all season we’ve shown we can perform against the best teams and put in a good 80 minutes.

“I’m determined to help us make the play-offs because I don’t want my time at Leeds to end with us not making the top six.

“I want to be in the big games at the end of the season and go out on a high.

“I’ve got friends for life here and I want to make more memories before I leave because anything could still happen this year.”

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